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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2009 :  15:08:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ahhhhh - a person who thinks this is close ------ Gretzky guys must be getting the keys in the Cuckoo's Nest ready for you Guest.

When you get there, look me up!

I have been put there because my memory, as a Bruins fans, is feeling more victimized by Mario at his peak than Wayne at his. Yes, I know about Wayne's amazing stats in the '88 finals against Boston. Still, I saw and felt what I saw and felt. Mario at his peak, focusing on those playoff series in the early '90s involving Boston anyway, was scarier to me as a huge fan of the victimized team, than Wayne was. I wouldn"t say a lot scarier. But he was scarier. But the key point is that even if you were to somehow convince me that my eyes were deceiving me somewhat on this point, you would never ever convince me that this question is not a very close one.

So you guys who call this a "no brainer" go back to your sane house. I'll gladly stay here in the Cuckoo's Nest with the esteemed guest.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The next part of this post is more suitable for the GOAT thread than this one, but the last few posts (the ones going on and on about Gretzky's absolutely amazing OFFENSIVE performance) would mislead a 10-15 year old kid reading without some sort of balanced counter post.

SO,

Let's remember, AGAIN, that these facts and figures work in support of Wayne's entitlement to be called the greatest OFFENSIVE hockey player ever, more than any other title.

The thing you guys who go on like this about these numbers have to understand is that there are guys out there, like me (who don't hate Gretzky, in fact respect what he did) who just are not willing to budge from the basic idea that hockey is not only about offense, and that to be called the greatest ever requires more than just offensive ability.

The amazing numbers that you cite are what pushes him, for me anyway, past better all-round hockey players like Mikita, Trottier and Keon. That is an INCREDIBLE accomplishment by Wayne to be able to surpass those players on a list even though clearly they played so many facets of the game at a higher level than Wayne.

That I think the scales stop tilting in Wayne's favour with Bobby Orr is just my opinion, sure. But, the thing you guys have to realize is that the reasoning for that would be in place even if Wayne's numbers were way higher than what he actually reached. Even if he, for example, would have had 6 seasons where he had as many assists as others did points, even if he would have topped 250 poinst a few times, even if he would have topped 3000 points career total, NADA, NADA NADA. And that is obviously more a comment on Orr's greatness than anything negative about Gretzky.

So you 10-15 year old kids out there who walk into the Hall of Fame and see the huge amount of Gretzky stuff compared to anyone else (including Orr) and then read what guys are saying here about this offensive feat and that offensive feat, don't stop thinking there - remember hockey is not just offense and that perhaps the Greatest Hockey Player Ever ought to have been excellent at other facets of the game too.



Edited by - andyhack on 02/26/2009 15:10:51
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fat_elvis_rocked
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
899 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2009 :  15:34:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"The preceding message, brought to you by the "Bobby Orr for May..orr" campaign....in a Gretzky vs Lemieux thread no less...blasphemous!!!

All kidding aside, of course it's a never ending debate as to who actually was the best player ever, much less comparing 'the great one' to 'le magnifique'.
Absolutely right, there are too many players bringing too many favourable facets to the table to define greatest, they all are great.

Statistically, nobody rivals Gretzky...period.
God-given talent, very arguable with Gretzky having to be in the mix, if only because he did so much with so much less than Lemieux, or Orr, or Richard or Howe, etc,etc., but certainly a Lemieux or Orr would have to be frontrunners..
Heart and passion, again too many arguable choices, with both 99 and 66 in the mix.

The only choice is the personal choice as 7 pages of 'sometimes' educational argument has proven, along with the plethora of freakin nonsense that some of the posters have eluded to, sure makes for interesting reading though...
One doesn't hold the other's jock?? WTF?? ... give it a rest, those who can't think outside of their own narcissitic, false sense of intelligence, anyone with a brain isn't buying it...
Hypotheticals?....as proof of argument?...I always say hypothetically, if your aunt had a pecker, she'd be your uncle, so there goes the hypotheticals...
Knocking either one's talents, for not doing this, not playing that is just ridiculous, these were head and shoulders, the 2 predominant hockey legends in the last, almost 30 years and they BOTH, helped build the NHL into what it is today.

If watching Lemieux gave you the shivers, fantastic, the same can easily be said watching Gretzky and some of the things he did, easily.

No proof either way, one was 'better' than the other, only interpretation.
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Guest8898
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Posted - 02/27/2009 :  08:54:12  Reply with Quote
I think people missed the intent of this forum: compare the two great statistic compilers and record breakers in recent NHL history without using their numbers, (because the numbers all say Wayne Gretzky was the best...) I was at a game in Edmonton when Gretzky was a teenager. The mighty Canadiens were in town and the best player in the world was in his prime; Guy LaFleur. The Habs were on the powerplay and LaFleur himself was flying through the neutral zone. He intended to carry the puck into the Oiler zone. Gretzky met him at the blueline and turned him back. The crowd roared! This was the reason people go to hockey games. LaFleur wheeled. He could have dumped the puck or passed the puck but now it was personal. He cut a huge circle in the nuetral zone and came back with dazzling speed. Every other player on both teams held their positions and watched the two great superstars duel. Gretzky matched his every move and met him again, this time at centre ice and turned him back once again. LaFleur circled once again, this time in his own zone. He was clearly giving it all he had and that was a lot but Gretzky was again right in front of him. This time Gretzky stripped him of the puck and headed in on the Canadien's goal with it. He didn't score but the point had been made. There was a new king in the NHL. Oddly enough I came away with even more respect for LaFleur than I had had before. He loved a challenge. To my knowledge Mario never had a defining moment like that and since it would need to have come against Wayne himself, my arguement is, Wayne Gretzky was the best, beat the best, and took on all commers for many years.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8173 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2009 :  09:57:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think this last guest brings to light something that is very interesting.

I strong think that people see Gretzky as purely offensive because of the numbers. But to say he was poor defensively because he was so good offensively is a completely unfair statement.

I think this point gets lost at time. As Gretzky was not a physical player and did not dig in the corners as much as others did not make him weaker defensively. I think (with all due respect) that older hockey purist believe that a player had to be physical to be good and if they were not physical, they were weak. Period.

Gretzky was brillaint defensively in the neutral zone and many offensive plays by the opposition did not exist because of this. His ability to read a play did not only translate offensively.

I am not, in any way, saying that Gretzky was on par with the likes of Orr on the defensive side of the puck. But to say he was not a good defensive player is weak and simple not factual. It comes to the fact that as time goes on, people forget things. People have seemed to forget Gretzky's ability to play defensively and his effectiveness without being physical.
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2009 :  16:14:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beans - I'm not saying Gretzky was terrible defensively overall (at times he was though). I am saying he was average at best, only getting to that "avarage" description primarily because of his ability in the neutral zone which you mentioned.

For me it's not so much the "physical" thing, though that ability certainly doesn't hurt. But Jean Ratelle was a good defensive player without playing physically. Butch Goring too. In the latter part of his career, Steve Yzerman too. Why do these guys get this description more appropriately than Wayne? For one thing, they backchecked a hell of a lot more. They also were thinking defensively more in terms of their positioning on the ice.

I don't mind you saying that Wayne was paid to think offensively and so he did. Fine, but lets tell it like it is - he was not anywhere near, not anywhere even REMOTELY near that is, the class of a Butch Goring as a defensive player.

With that in mind, let's look at this another way - Roger Federer does not, for many people, get the Greatest of All-Time title because he hasn't won ONE tournament, the French Open. In some ways the French is to Federer what defensive hockey is to Gretzky. But in Federer's case, that shortcoming at that one venue is enough to bar him from the GOAT status, even though he has in fact done EXTREMELY well there losing for four years now only to Rafa Nadal (one of the greatest, if not the greatest clay court players ever). Nevertheless, Federer's shortcoming bars him from being the GOAT for many in the mainstream.

Gretzky, on the other hand, is (regardless of your use of words like "brilliant") not anywhere near the class of Butch Goring overall as a defensive hockey player. Is Butch Goring to hockey what Rafa Nadal is to tennis? No offense to Butch (great hockey player) but, no, of course he isn't. And yet in the mainstream Wayne's claim to the GOAT is rarely ever questioned even though he has a shortcoming that can be highlighted up against a Butch Goring, while Federer's claim to the GOAT is often questioned even though his shortcoming can really only be highlighted against Rafa Nadal.

Call me Wacko Hacko if you wish, but that doesn't quite compute.

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fat_elvis_rocked
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
899 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2009 :  21:45:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a thought, and in no way do I not recognize the validity of anyone'e opinion, but whenever those 'against', for lack of a better word, Gretzky, draw comparisons against the other players in the league regarding defence, physicality, etc., why can't it seem to be understood that, that is not how he played.
Not that he couldn't, we don't know, we'll never know, if that would have been his style, the comparisons would perhaps have some validity. One has to assume, he knew what worked best for him.

In the land of hypotheticals, had Gretzky been converted to be more defensive, would it be a stretch to compare him to Goring? He certainly had enough phyical talent to skate on the same level, perhaps he would have been effective enough playing the body as well. He would have had to drop onto a checking style line to have a shot at a Selke, and that seems sort of like driving a convertible in January in Saskatchewan, you could do it, but it would make no sense.
Alas, as I pointed out in an earlier post, hypothetically if your Aunt Martha has a package, she's Uncle Marty this Christmas, so hogwash to the what ifs and let's stay in the realities.

My point, is that he played the game in a way, no other player had, up to that point, making comparisons to other players moot. He brought a level of inventiveness, that allowed him to succeed, NOT, playing the way the game had been played to that point. That more than any perceived shortcomings in his 'traditional' game style, is what makes him so hard to compare to anyone.
Lemieux's grace, talent and finesse, while amazing, automatically draw comparisons to Orr, Beliveau etc.
Gretzky doesn't draw comnparisons because he was so far removed from what traditionalists expected.

Lemieux may have indeed amazed us, myself included, with the level of skill and ability that he had, but Gretzky changed the way we looked at a hockey player....these ongoing 'better than' discussions prove that, and that is why he is, in my humble opinion, the GOAT, or at least higher on the list than Mario, at any time, peak or career, which is what this particular thread asks. I say that only to circumvent the Orr argument, which is a whole other thread, and a whole lot tougher argument for me as Orr also changed the game.
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2009 :  07:13:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fat_elvis_rocked

Just a thought, and in no way do I not recognize the validity of anyone'e opinion, but whenever those 'against', for lack of a better word, Gretzky, draw comparisons against the other players in the league regarding defence, physicality, etc., why can't it seem to be understood that, that is not how he played.


Fat Elvis - I understand that. Wayne simply did not play the game that way. Fair enough.

But to continue with the tennis theme, Pete Sampras chose to play tennis a certain way. As you would say, he simply did not play the game the way others did. That game brought Sampras tremendous success, yes, but it also left a gap on his resume, being that his style was, for various reasons, not suitable for one aspect of the sport (winning on clay - he has a pretty average, some might even say, poor, record on it). So when tennis fans judge the question of THE GREATEST player ever, they consider that point, and I think rightly so.

So my question is why can't (or shouldn't) hockey fans, when thinking about the question of the GOAT, consider the point that the way Wayne chose to play hockey, as tremendous as it was, also resulted in certain shortcomings?
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Guest8801
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Posted - 02/28/2009 :  10:33:14  Reply with Quote
I would like to compare Wayne to another sport, rather than Tennis. Jerry Rice is widely considered the greatest wide receiver of all time. His career marks are untouchable by anyone before or since, and, like Wayne, some of his records may NEVER be broken. His dominance of the NFL record book is so extreme that some even consider him to be the greatest football player of all time, regardless of position.

And yet as we look over Rice's records, we see that, while he dominates nearly ever career record, many season records are not his. Its basically as a combined body of work over a 20 year career that has made him the greatest. Certainly he has many single season records too, but others have passed him for things like single season TD receptions and single season catches, etc.

The difference between Jerry Rice and Wayne Gretzky is that Wayne also owns nearly every conceivable career record and milestone, but he ALSO has all the single season achievements as well. Not only does he dominate as a 20 year body of work, he does so on a season by season basis.

As great as Lemieux was, we always find him 2nd to Wayne. Or sometimes find that Wayne is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Mario 4th or 5th. Wayne had 92 goals in a season, and 87. Mario's best was 85. Wayne broke 200 points 4 times, and had 196 another year. Mario had 199 once, placing him 5th. Mario's best season for assists tied Gretzky's 8th best season for assists.

I think often Wayne gets punished by people on these boards because of the last 5 or 6 years of his career, which weren't up to the standards he'd set as a younger man (and one without a herniated back). Meanwhile Howe gets honored for his longevity, as well he should.

Speaking of speculation and hypotheticals, what if Wayne had gone out with the Oilers, or just after being traded to the Kings? What if he'd played until he was 30, broken the 2000 point mark, won his 4 cups and nearly a dozen scoring races, then retired with bad knees or back trouble or anything else. Would he be considered greater for accomplishing everything he did then leaving, the way people often do with Orr or Lemieux? Shouldn't playing the game longer, and still being successful at it even if he wasn't averaging 180pts a year anymore, count for more? It does with Howe, yet somehow on these boards it seems to work against the great one.

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fat_elvis_rocked
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
899 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2009 :  17:24:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack

quote:
Originally posted by fat_elvis_rocked

Just a thought, and in no way do I not recognize the validity of anyone'e opinion, but whenever those 'against', for lack of a better word, Gretzky, draw comparisons against the other players in the league regarding defence, physicality, etc., why can't it seem to be understood that, that is not how he played.


Fat Elvis - I understand that. Wayne simply did not play the game that way. Fair enough.

But to continue with the tennis theme, Pete Sampras chose to play tennis a certain way. As you would say, he simply did not play the game the way others did. That game brought Sampras tremendous success, yes, but it also left a gap on his resume, being that his style was, for various reasons, not suitable for one aspect of the sport (winning on clay - he has a pretty average, some might even say, poor, record on it). So when tennis fans judge the question of THE GREATEST player ever, they consider that point, and I think rightly so.

So my question is why can't (or shouldn't) hockey fans, when thinking about the question of the GOAT, consider the point that the way Wayne chose to play hockey, as tremendous as it was, also resulted in certain shortcomings?




You may have inadvertently answered your own question, if you use my train of thought. I think, and this is only my opinion, that it is the fact that Gretzky, didnt' play to those perceived shortcomings, and chose to simply not consider them, thereby leaving the onus on fans to rethink, what a shortcoming is, when he so obviously had success with his game as is. Average defense? Maybe not so much when you possess such above average offence, if the adage of a good defence being a good offence rings true. That being the case, he could be considered to have above average defence...

And I see what you are getting at with the tennis analogies, but not a fair analogy. You train predominantly on one type of surface, and have to win on 3 differnet types to be considered dominant? Fair enough for tennis, let's see them rally some points on skates, then we got a game..
Every athlete can be picked apart for having a shortcoming, if Federer eventually beats Nadal for the French Open title on clay, does he then become the GOAT of tennis? Maybe his mobility compared to Nadal comes into question, would that then be the shortcoming that hinders his GOAT status? It could go on forever....

That's the beauty of hockey, when comparing individual talents, the playing field, so to speak, is a level as you'll find in sports. No, better home run hitter in a domed stadium versus open. No, better running back on natural versus artificial turf. etc.

If one can actually think past the preconceived ideas of what makes a hockey player complete, and look at a career based on success, statistics, impact on society while associated with the sport, and all the other intagibles that go into greatness.....it actually only bolsters the Gretzky choice....IMHO
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8173 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2009 :  22:07:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, did I ever miss a great few days of posts!! Definately a different spin on this age old arguement.

To keep it specifically to Gretzky vs. Lemieux, I have to say that this latest guest put a very interesting perspective on things. As stated before, Lemieux had various reasons for a shortened career. Or, compressed if you will. There will always be an arguement of "What could have been." And I agree that Gretzky was not the 150+ point, Art Ross, Hart, blah blah blah winner in his later years. But his career was complete. There is no "What could have," question with Gretzky.

I think it is a very valid arguement that it is easy to be critical to a player who had played a "complete" career (if you will) over a player that did not. Similar to Lemiuex, Bobby Orr played a very limited career due to his tragic knee issues. But one has to wonder if his career would have been more heavily scrutinized if he played 15+ seasons. What if the hockey world would have watched the Great #4's skills diminish in the twilight of a long career???

We did get to see Lemieux's skills diminish some what, but the arguement will alway be there as "what would have happened." It's possibly the most unique arguement in hockey as it was not a shortened career as in Bobby Orr. Lemieux had 2 come backs. Each time, a different form of a very brilliant hockey player was introduced.


And finally, I have to say that a what if arguement with Gretzky retiring early is very interesting. As stated, if he played a similar length career of Lemieux( around 1000 games or less) he would have retired with all the records he has today and 4 Cups in 10-12 years. I can only think of one career that was even close to that and it wasn't Lemieux.

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Guest9487
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Posted - 03/15/2009 :  16:22:09  Reply with Quote
Peak value? Lemieux.

He was more talented and had a more impressive highlight reel.

Gretzky was the best playmaker ever, but Lemieux is a close second.
Lemieux is the most skilled goal scorer ever by far.

Assists are important, but they require help from the outside. Goals, on the other hand, (and I'm talking ability to score goals, not the number of goals scored), depend only on the player himself. Which is why I put Lemieux ahead of Gretzky.

Oh, and Lemieux's 1992-93 season (160 pts in 60 games after having chemo in the middle of the season) is the most amazing season in NHL history, and probably in the top 3 of best individual season ever by any North American athlete (I'm talking NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL).
The only NHL season that comes close is Bobby Orr in 1970-71, when he scored 139 points and was +124.
Gretzky has had amazing seasons, but nothing like those.


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Guest8801
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Posted - 03/16/2009 :  00:15:07  Reply with Quote
Then why does Gretzky have the record for the highest single season PPG average? Oh ya - cause the year of the 51 game point scoring streak, his average was higher than Lemiuex's was in his best seasons ever. So I'd say Gretzky did have seasons like that, only better. If he hadn't missed games due to injury that year, he was on pace for over 230 points!

Gretzky's best single seasons beat Lemieux best single seasons, both in total points and in PPG averages. His career beat Lemieux in both total points and PPG averages. He owns all the records for goals, assists, points, everything in every category, both for career and single seasons. Gretzky had a 6 yr streak where he AVERAGED 200 points a season! Lemieux only came close to that even once, and didn't break that mark. The first 10 yrs of Gretzky's career he averaged better than 180 points a yr!

To put Gretzky's 2800 points into perspective: a new player breaking into the league (say Tavares, or even guys like Crosby and Ovi who are considered phenominal talents) would have to AVERAGE 130 points a yr for over 20 seasons to reach it. Now go back and see how many people have broken 130 points even ONCE in the past decade, let alone trying to average that for 20 seasons.

I think some people forget that many of Gretzky's records are already 20-25 years old, and haven't really been touched. Lemieux came somewhat close on a few (some of the goals records, none of the assist records), but for the most part it would take the two leading scorers in the league today combined to match his best seasons.

Gretzky used to win scoring races with more assists than anyone else had points. Lemieux never did that. And I would argue about a goal scorer vs a playmaker - guys lime Seminko had 30 goal seasons playing with Wayne. Bernie Nichols, a decent player but not a superstar, became only the 5th player in history at that time to break 70 goals in a season, with Gretzky (hint - Wayne and Jari were two of the other 4!).

The value of Wayne's playmaking allowed him to be an asset to teams like the rangers even when he was nearly 40 years old, and playing with a bad back. A talented playmaker can still be an asset long after their best days have left them behind, which is why Gretzky was able to still be a great player even in his later years. If Mario had played until he was 40, and his PPG average had continued to drop (the way it was already) or if Bobby Orr had played 20 seasons and we'd watched him get traded to some aweful teams where his +/- ratings had being very unimpressive, or he'd played into the high-scoring 80's and seen his team surrender 6-9 goals some nights, I doubt history would remember him as kindly.

Besides, if I had only 1 to choose on a team, I'd take the one that is going to play 20 years, be healthier longer, last longer in his prime, and set 60 NHL records.
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Guest8801
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Posted - 03/17/2009 :  21:04:26  Reply with Quote
"Gretzky was the best playmaker ever, but Lemieux is a close second.
Lemieux is the most skilled goal scorer ever by far."

I completely disagree with this statement. For one, to say Lemieux is the most skilled goal scorer by far is based on... what? Gretzky has all the goal scoring records. Even if we could agree that Lemieux was a better goal scorer, it would only be by the most narrow of margins. Afterall, he never beat 92 in a season, never beat 50 in 39 games, or matched Gretzky's playoff goals, 10 goals in a cup final series, etc. These aren't even career records, which Lemieux couldn't have caught due to injury and illness - these are single season markers, or partial season even, which he had plenty of opportunity to equal or surpass.

But even if we agree that Mario is a marginally better goal scorer, it's the playmaking part of your statement I disagree with the most. To say Gretz isn't close to Lemieux's goal scoring when he has all the records is one thing. To say Lemieux is almost the playmaker Gretzky was is something else. Lemieux broke the 100 assist mark once. Gretzky did it 11 times in a row! Only Gretzky, Orr, and Lemieux have even broken that mark, the other two once each. Anyone coming into the league would need 100 assists a year for 20 years to beat Wayne's career totals. His 163 assists in a single season could be one of the most difficult records to break of them all (along side his career assists record).

My point is that as unbelievable as some of his records are, it is the assist records that are absolutely untouchable. Some of his records may eventually fall. Bossy had more GPG average, as did Lemieux. Lemieux may have broken some of Wayne's goal records if he'd been healthier. But the assist records have never even been approached, not by Lemieux, not by anyone. He had more assists than anyone else had points 3 different times. And of course we all know his career assists are higher than anyone else's point totals.

Others may have had goal scoring talents comparable to Gretzky's, though that will forever be debatable since Wayne still owns all the records, but no one else has ever been close to his ability as a playmaker.
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Guest2598
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Posted - 07/08/2009 :  07:20:42  Reply with Quote
It's amazing how the Gretzky crowd always fall back to statistics when it comes to promote their point of view. Although I can easily understand why they do since that's really the only evidence that they can provide to support that Gretzky was superior to Lemieux, really.

Of course, how can Mr. Somebody argue against Scotty Bowman about hockey when what Scotty Bowman says is that Lemieux was the best ever... well you throw up stats and forget the rest.

Mr. Somebody can only argue for Gretzky with statistics when faced with this kind of alien play : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb7M9JVnPO4

Throwing stats provides a good first argument, but as Levenstein said, "Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital".

Gretzky was an amazing player. But Lemieux was the best and it cant be explained by numbers. You had to watch both players without bias to make a good judgment. And watching Lemieux, something many Gretzky fans never really did much because of Western time schedules for instance, was revealing.


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PhillyFan12
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
399 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2009 :  07:31:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think Lemieux won this,thats my pick.Gretzky still is the best player ever that i know of so far.But for a better forward its Lemieux.



PhillyFan12
Philly Rules!!!
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4574 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2009 :  08:27:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"It's amazing how the Gretzky crowd always fall back to statistics when it comes to promote their view"

It's amazing how when it comes to the Lemieux crowd, that they always have to fall back on some emotional response they got from one shift they watched, one play, or a utube montage of a dozen great moves the guy made.

I can show you right now a utube montage that can easily compete with anything Gretzky or Lemieux has . . . but no one here can argue that as great as Alex Ovechkin is, he doesn't come close to dominating the way Gretzky or Lemieux did.

Greatness doesn't come on just one shift or a series of games . . . and hockey isn't judged on how great a player's moves are, otherwise great danglers would be winning the NHL MVP awards, not one of the top offensive players that season.

No, for me, you judge a player (forward, in this case) on how great his goal scoring prowess was; how great his assist making prowess was; how great he made the other players around him; how good a leader he was; how great defensively he was; and how great he was in the clutch.

On this basis, I rate Gretzky winning 5 out of 6 of those categories, and Lemieux tying or maybe edging him out on one (defence).

You guys who put down the use of statistics . . . how do you judge your players in the hockey pool drafts, do you go through utube clips, or chat about who made some great play that time he played your team? Or do you talk about how this player or that player makes you feel as he comes in on the rush with the wind blowing in his hair as he dangles around the competition . . . The statistical compilation is not an indication, or a symptom of greatness - it is the hard, physical proof that he did what he did - score goals, make great plays, make the team better.

If all Lemieux supporters can only bring out "emotional" arguments and totally disregard all the goals and assists that Gretzky scored, going on that basis, I can make a really good case for Alexei Kovalev as the GOAT.

Gretzky's legacy is etched in stone, and the only way Lemieux is better is through misty memories.

'nuff said.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5784 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2009 :  11:13:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, who dug this up and why? When i first began reading the threads, i didn't realize it was so old (then i noticed there's 7 pages).

Well, first off, i had to laugh at the comment from "Gooch" who said "Gretzky couldnt hold Marios jock as a player." I mean, if you can't laugh at a comment like this, what can you do? If that's not bad enough, some anonymous guest decides to say that "Its just wrong to put Gretzky in the same sentence as Lemieux."??? Huh? Sorry, maybe "Gooch" forgot to sign in before posting this nonsense?

This can be debated forever, especially if you're not allowed to use stats in your comparisons? That's kinda crazy in itself don't ya think? Really, the only way you can then compare them would be hypothetical. All the "what ifs..." that have been mentioned on here come into play but really ask yourself this. If the two of them switched places and Gretzky played with the teams Lemieux did and vice versa, who'd have done better? Again, it's hypothetical, but so's pretty much every argument offered up here, especially since stats are supposed to be ignored. What are you supposed to compare if you can't use stats? Anything else is simply an opinion.

For the record, i voted Gretzky....
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Matt_Roberts85
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
936 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2009 :  11:44:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought this was a Brent Gretzky vs Jocelyn Lemieux debate?

There is no "I" in team, but there is an "M" and an "E".
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Guest2598
( )

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  09:21:23  Reply with Quote
"No, for me, you judge a player (forward, in this case) on how great his goal scoring prowess was; how great his assist making prowess was; how great he made the other players around him; how good a leader he was; how great defensively he was; and how great he was in the clutch.

On this basis, I rate Gretzky winning 5 out of 6 of those categories, and Lemieux tying or maybe edging him out on one (defence). "

Do you suggest that Messier, Kurri or Anderson were made better by Gretzky the same way it happened for Bob Errey, Rob Brown or Warren Young with Lemieux? :-)

Goal scoring prowess - Gretzky scored more goals in the end but I know few people who would argue that he was a better goal scorer than Lemieux. You do have the right to think he was though, of course.

Playmaking prowess - There I would be open to debate. Lemieux made magic plays on a regular basis (as Warren Young would testify), but so did Gretzky.

Making others better - Perhaps Gretzky did, but we can hardly know since he played with superstars most of his career. Lemieux has a briefcase full of no-names who became natural goal-scorers for the time they played with him.

Leadership - Lemieux took Team Canada to Olympic Gold and the World Cup. I cant figure out how you made your call for Gretzky. Without Messier, he did take the LA Kings to the Stanley Cup finals, but apart from this, it's harder for me to figure it out.

Btw, the point I tried to make with the videos is not that Mario Lemieux made a few great plays. The point was that you could make an 8-hour DVD with incredible plays that this guy made. There was an highlight every game he played. Gretzky's stuff worked, but it was never so often as eye-popping as Lemieux's. One play does not say much, but a whole lot do. As I said, you had to watch both guys play through their careers to make a good judgemnt.
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Guest5382
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Posted - 07/10/2009 :  12:33:45  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest2598
Gretzky's stuff worked, but it was never so often as eye-popping as Lemieux's. One play does not say much, but a whole lot do. As I said, you had to watch both guys play through their careers to make a good judgemnt.


Based on this logic Phaneuf is a better defensemen than Lidstrom. I mean all that flash and big hits are way more eye popping than a simple poke check right?

Same can be said about Hossa and Kovalev. Kovalev is much more skilled in the flash department. You don't get the same flash with Hossa but Hossa is the much better player.

It is the simple brilliance that made Wayne stand out. There was no crazy going through 5 guys to score a highlight reel goal on his back while performing dangling and stick handling highlight. But somehow he just scored a simple goals, just a lot of them. It makes you think it was easy to do because Wayne hasn't done anything that looks difficult, but he did, that's the secret.

You want eye popping skills watch Kovalev when he is on.
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brentrock2
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
571 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  05:15:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Two are both very skilled players but I have to go with Gretzky.

HABS RULE!!
brentrock2
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4574 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  07:15:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Goal scoring prowess - Gretzky scored more goals in the end but I know few people who would argue that he was a better goal scorer than Lemieux. You do have the right to think he was though, of course."

You know few people who can differentiate between one number being higher than the other, then. Seriously. He scored more goals, on a per game basis, at peak value, etc. His results show he was better, period. You may as well try to argue with me that 5 is higher than 6.

"Making others better - Perhaps Gretzky did, but we can hardly know since he played with superstars most of his career. Lemieux has a briefcase full of no-names who became natural goal-scorers for the time they played with him."

No names?!? Seriously . . . now you have tipped your hand as being one of Lemieux's children, or perhaps you never actually lived through the Pittsburgh Lemieux and Jagr show dynasty. What a crock of s***.

A briefcase full of no names indeed . . . start using some logic, please.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5784 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  20:29:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Slozo... "You may as well try to argue with me that 5 is higher than 6."

Quote of the week, right there! Epic!
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Rambo2305
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
546 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2009 :  11:47:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Super Mario

"Most people spend time and energy going around problems, rather than trying to solve them" - Henry Ford
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Kirby
Top Prospect



Canada
66 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2009 :  16:10:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The 2 things that stick out for me between Gretzky the most is PPG, and health(or lack thereof). Gretzky wins in both and imho is better than Mario. Argue all you want for Mario, it wont change a thing. Gretzky stayed healthy and even when Mario was healthy, he was outdone by Gretzky. An amazing player that stayed healthy, put up more ppg, and broke almost every offensive record out there beats another amazing player who was riddled with injuries.

I skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.-Wayne Gretzky
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Guest9235
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Posted - 07/13/2009 :  16:14:59  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kirby

The 2 things that stick out for me between Gretzky the most is PPG, and health(or lack thereof). Gretzky wins in both and imho is better than Mario. Argue all you want for Mario, it wont change a thing. Gretzky stayed healthy and even when Mario was healthy, he was outdone by Gretzky. An amazing player that stayed healthy, put up more ppg, and broke almost every offensive record out there beats another amazing player who was riddled with injuries.

I skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.-Wayne Gretzky



*That stick out for me between Gretzky and Lemeuix is
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2009 :  19:28:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kirby

The 2 things that stick out for me between Gretzky the most is PPG, and health(or lack thereof). Gretzky wins in both and imho is better than Mario. Argue all you want for Mario, it wont change a thing. Gretzky stayed healthy and even when Mario was healthy, he was outdone by Gretzky. An amazing player that stayed healthy, put up more ppg, and broke almost every offensive record out there beats another amazing player who was riddled with injuries.

I skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.-Wayne Gretzky


When exactly was Mario healthy?
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4574 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  07:00:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why would it matter if Lemieux was ever totally healthy? We can only look at what was, not what could have been . . . or at the very least, that is a different topic.

What is with these ridiculous excuses for Lemieux, as if these ailments he had somehow can boost his goal totals magically? What is wrong with people seeing what to me is concrete proof - GOALS SCORED! ASSISTS MADE!!! Don't give me this "he didn't dominate" bulls*** . . . is hockey greatness judged on domination of the game in terms of carrying the puck a bit more often, making some fancier moves, but scoring and assisting less?!? What a load of crap!

And to the total moron who posted that Lemieux played with a "briefcase of nobodies", here is that briefcase:

66'S BRIEFCASE OF NOBODIES
Ron Francis - HOFer, 549g, 1249a, 1798 pts (4th all-time)
Jaromir Jagr - future HOFer, 646g, 953a, 1599 pts (9th all-time)
(D) Paul Coffey - HOFer, 396g, 1135a, 1531 pts (12th all-time)
Mark Recchi - future HOFer, 545g, 897a, 1442 pts(14th all-time)
(D) Larry Murphy - HOFer, 287g, 929a, 1216pts (40th all-time)
Joe Mullen - HOFer, 502g, 561a, 1063pts
Rick Tocchet - 440g, 512a, 952 pts
John Cullen - 187g, 363a, 550pts (621 game career shortened by cancer)
Kevin Stevens - 329g, 397a, 726 pts in 874 games
Martin Straka - 257g, 460a, 717pts in 954 games

99's BRIEFCASE OF SOMEBODIES
Mark Messier - HOFer, 1887 pts (2nd all-time)
Paul Coffey - HOFer, 1531 pts (12th all-time)
Jari Kurri - HOFer, 1398 pts (19th all-time)
Luc Robitaille - HOFer, 1394 pts (20th all-time)
Bernie Nicholls - HOFer, 1209 pts (43rd all-time)
Glenn Anderson - HOFer, 1099 pts

NOTE: I did not count Lemieux's brief stint with Robitaille, nor Gretzky's brief stay with Brett Hull as the playing time together is inconsequential.

Pretty comparable, eh? Especially considering that Messier, who really bumps up Gretzky's entourage as one of the GOAT players, almost never shared ice with the Great One, whereas Lemieux spent loads of time with Jagr and Francis. And obviously, the argument can be made for both players that they actually raised the stats of those players around them to their HOF levels. Although the great players like Jagr, Francis, Coffee and Nicholls did great no matter who they played with . . . I can pick out a few names as being iffy to make the HOF or get all those points if not for the superstar help (Mullen, Tocchet, Stevens, Kurri, Robitaille, Anderson).

In terms of supporting casts, it's a wash, folks . . . the only difference is that Gretzky was just a smidgeon better than Lemieux. At peak value, he was a slightly better goal scorer, and was well above him in playmaking, no matter how many considerations you make for different era, reduced scoring, tighter checking, injuries and ailments, etc. After all of the excuses run out, you are simply left with Gretzky slightly above Lemieux for the Greatest Of All Time . . . Forward (that's for Willus ).


"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug

Edited by - slozo on 07/14/2009 07:00:52
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Rambo2305
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
546 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  08:28:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kirby

The 2 things that stick out for me between Gretzky the most is PPG, and health(or lack thereof). Gretzky wins in both and imho is better than Mario. Argue all you want for Mario, it wont change a thing. Gretzky stayed healthy and even when Mario was healthy, he was outdone by Gretzky. An amazing player that stayed healthy, put up more ppg, and broke almost every offensive record out there beats another amazing player who was riddled with injuries.

I skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.-Wayne Gretzky



Health doesn't mean a players better...ever occur that maybe Mario got injured more because he would actually go and battle for the puck in the corners, check and backcheck. Wayne always had people to do that for him.

As an overall player, Mario wins (Defense, Offense, PP, PK, checking etc.). If you focus on pure offense, it's Wayne.

"Most people spend time and energy going around problems, rather than trying to solve them" - Henry Ford
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Guest5382
( )

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  12:00:15  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rambo2305
Health doesn't mean a players better...ever occur that maybe Mario got injured more because he would actually go and battle for the puck in the corners, check and backcheck. Wayne always had people to do that for him.

As an overall player, Mario wins (Defense, Offense, PP, PK, checking etc.). If you focus on pure offense, it's Wayne.


Really? You have something to back up those statements?

I will agree with you on one thing, Mario is likely better at checking than Gretz but that is merely due to his size and strength. How can you say that defensively or offensively Mario is better?
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Rambo2305
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
546 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  12:16:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest5382

quote:
Originally posted by Rambo2305
Health doesn't mean a players better...ever occur that maybe Mario got injured more because he would actually go and battle for the puck in the corners, check and backcheck. Wayne always had people to do that for him.

As an overall player, Mario wins (Defense, Offense, PP, PK, checking etc.). If you focus on pure offense, it's Wayne.


Really? You have something to back up those statements?

I will agree with you on one thing, Mario is likely better at checking than Gretz but that is merely due to his size and strength. How can you say that defensively or offensively Mario is better?



Offensively, Wayne takes the cake. However, as many other poster's have commented, hockey isn't just about scoring goals. Mario was more of an all round player. Gretzky was never a PK guy, he was 5 on 5 and PP. Ok, on some occasions he would be out for the PK, but at the end going back to 5 on 5.

Checking, like you said, Mario did it.

Next, look at what these players had to deal with. Wayne, you cried when you left Edmonton, ok. Mario, you had cancer, retired, came back, and was still considered an elite player in the NHL.

Also, look at what they had to put up with on the ice. Pittsburgh never had a true enforcer in 66's days, he had to look out for himself, hence, giving him much less room to work his magic. While Wayne on the other hand, had two sometimes three true enforcers to intimidate and opposing players. Basically, if you touched Wayne, Semenko or McCsorley was coming for you. This scared alot of players, hence, why Wayne was always left open and coasting while Mario was battling some of the best and biggest.

Ask the 30 GM's in the league which of the two they would choose. Guarantee at least 20-25 would take Lemieux, if not all 30. Mario did it alone, didn't demand anything, no linemate's or for his enforcer buddies to come with. Wayne, well we all know which players were in his luggage bags.

It's like comparing Crosby to Malkin or Ovechkin.

One's a whiney b'tch, and one can take a team on his back (Ovie or Malkin, either or).

"Most people spend time and energy going around problems, rather than trying to solve them" - Henry Ford
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5784 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  12:33:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
[i]

Ask the 30 GM's in the league which of the two they would choose. Guarantee at least 20-25 would take Lemieux, if not all 30. Mario did it alone, didn't demand anything, no linemate's or for his enforcer buddies to come with. Wayne, well we all know which players were in his luggage bags.

[i]




Rambo.... i disagree completely with you so much on the above that i took it upon myself to call each GM. Well, only 1 picked Mario. That was Dale Tallon in Chicago. When word got out, he was fired.....
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Guest5382
( )

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  13:15:13  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rambo2305

quote:
Originally posted by Guest5382
Really? You have something to back up those statements?

I will agree with you on one thing, Mario is likely better at checking than Gretz but that is merely due to his size and strength. How can you say that defensively or offensively Mario is better?



Offensively, Wayne takes the cake. .... blah blah blah.

So what you are saying is you got nothing to back up your statements just your opinion.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8173 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  13:43:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, I am not going to dig up every arguement on here, but I do want to say that there are many incorrent statements on this.

Firstly, Gretzky played as the Oilers #1 PK forward since about mid-way though the 81-82 season. As soon as Sather realized that playing a man down created more space on the ice, Gretzky was out there scoring. I mean, how else does a guy get 73 short handed goals??? It was also one of the reasons why the NHL changed the rule on offsetting minors. The Oilers (with Gretzky, Kurri, Coffey specifically) were so deadly 4 on 4 that one of the coat tail riding Oilers players would often get a retaliation penalty for the sake of putting the teams 4 on 4.

Secondly, neither Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux would be on anyone's all defensive team. Many people forget that Mario had a reputation for being one of the softest 6'4"-220 lb guys to ever play the game. He took a ton of abuse offensively, but he was far from known to be a huge hitter or play really physical defensively. And although Gretzky had an equally negative stigma as being the kind of centre to hang out at the blue lines as not dig in his own corners much, he was brilliant in the neutral zone, often breaking up the offensive rush before it even began. Both had interesting ways of playing defensively and neither was really outstanding. Yet, I don't think there is anyone that would put either Mario or Wayne on the ice to shut the other team down. More like light the other team up.


Honestly, this is not something that anyone can go on with stats alone or watching highlights. If you want a objective view, do the homework. Spend the time in finding old games from the 80's and early 90's when both players were in their primes. You will see the phenom in both as well as weakness in both.

Don't let stats or other opinion's sway you. Watch and make up your own mind.
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4574 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  16:32:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You know what Rambo,
For a Forward who is as offensively talented as Mario or Wayne . . .

. . . Hockey IS ABOUT JUST SCORING GOALS.

If Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux didn't score all those points, we would never have a 7 (soon to be 8) page thread on who is better than who . . . scoring goals and getting assists on goals is EXACTLY what made these players so great.

Do you hear or see any big discussions on players like Mikko Koivu being one of the greatest of all time? No! Yes, he is a fantastic defensive player, and yes, he can definitely pot in the odd goal . . . but we can directly see how much we think of him as a hockey player by the amount of times he has been mentioned on this hockey website! Maybe once or twice, I think, when discussing the Wild. Seriously folks, first line forwards, YOUR MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS as any coach will tell you, are there to set up goals and score goals. Period. End. Of. Story.

And judging forwards who are as immensely talented as these two guys were, we must almost solely judge them based on their offense. Anything else is a false argument, based on nothing but some nostalgia for a great bunch of moves you saw him do on the rush once.

Results matter. Wayne wins.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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shazariahl
Top Prospect



50 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2009 :  23:46:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, I can't believe someone revived this. Regardless, this is my opinion:

When you are talking about the two greatest offensive players ever, I just don't see the point of mentioning which player was better defensively. This would be different if either player was known for their D, but they weren't. I'll concede Lemieux was slightly better, but it doesn't really matter much.

Goal scoring they were very close - I want to give Mario the edge, but frankly Wayne still put up better numbers in his prime. Afterall, Mario never beat 92 goals in a season or 50 in 39 games, which were two of Wayne's biggest accomplishments. However, Mario did beat Wayne for career GPG average - though that was in large part because Gretzky played 7 extra seasons at the end of his career.

Playmaking though is where Wayne takes it hands down. I'm not trying to diminish Mario's play making skills, but I see a lot of people saying they were close in this department. They weren't. Mario broke the 100 assist mark once - the year he had 114. Gretzky broke 100 assists 11 straight seasons, including his record 169. By nice coincidence, Gretzky also had 114 assists once - but it was the 8th highest season of his career for assists. In other words, Lemieux's best season for assists tied Gretzky's 8th best.

Also consider that Gretzky had three different seasons where he would have won the scoring race just based on assists alone. No one has ever done that before, including Lemieux. This isn't even comparing career assists, which Mario can't possibly be expected to compete with due to illness, injury, and a much shorter career - this is just single seasons, which puts him on a more even footing. I don't want to fall into the "its not even close" rhetoric we see from so many, but at least in the play making aspect of their games, its not really close.

So in the end I'm left with this choice - Mario, who wowed me more with his grace and power, but put up less PPG, played less seasons, was injured FAR more, won half as many cups, and was outperformed by Wayne in the post season... or Gretzky, who shattered most the NHL record book, had a higher peak, a longer and healthier career, and retired with more assists than anyone else has total points. He didn't wow me as much, he wasn't the unstopable force that Mario so often seemed to be, but he was somehow, inexplicably, just... better.

Obviously, I take the great one.
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Guest2598
( )

Posted - 09/10/2009 :  13:13:26  Reply with Quote
Can't let this thread die like this :)

quote:
Originally posted by slozo


You know few people who can differentiate between one number being higher than the other, then. Seriously. He scored more goals, on a per game basis, at peak value, etc. His results show he was better, period. You may as well try to argue with me that 5 is higher than 6.



I don't know why you would suggest this. First, per this line of reasoning, Mike Bossy could be the GOAT. Yet we know he was awesome, but not better than 99 or 66. But even if we ignore Bossy's awesome 0,762 goals per game avg, Lemieux beats Gretzky big time (3rd all-time with 0,754 vs 7th all-time with 0,601).

Note : The legendary Cy Denneny stands 2nd all-time between Bossy and Lemieux, with 0,756 gpg avg

quote:
Originally posted by slozo


You guys who put down the use of statistics . . . how do you judge your players in the hockey pool drafts, do you go through utube clips, or chat about who made some great play that time he played your team? Or do you talk about how this player or that player makes you feel as he comes in on the rush with the wind blowing in his hair as he dangles around the competition . . . The statistical compilation is not an indication, or a symptom of greatness - it is the hard, physical proof that he did what he did - score goals, make great plays, make the team better.


Well pools are exactly about this, stats, so that's no argument I hope! If I was drafting players at my pools based on my feelings about talent and ignoring circumstances, rather than based on statistical expectations taking into account circumstances, I would end up with quite different teams.

Statistics is the weakest evidence you can get in any circumstance. Statisticians would tell you, trust me.

I know how the Gretzky crowd feels about their man. He WAS great, I'm not denying it. But do not take my word for it, take it from guys like Scotty Bowman or Bobby Orr. For them Lemieux was the GOAT, and there's no arguing over these guys, no matter how good each of us thinks he/she knows hockey. Sorry.
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Guest5382
( )

Posted - 09/10/2009 :  13:36:26  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest2598
But do not take my word for it, take it from guys like Scotty Bowman or Bobby Orr. For them Lemieux was the GOAT, and there's no arguing over these guys, no matter how good each of us thinks he/she knows hockey. Sorry.


How about all the writers and managers who follow hockey for a living? The majority picked Gretz over Orr and Lemieux. Yep, those guys know nothing about hockey either. Just Bowman and Orr opinions matter.

Why do you think the top 50 from the Hockey News (writers and select NHL managers) and even here, the majority selected Gretz as GOAT?
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5784 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2009 :  14:39:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:

Why do you think the top 50 from the Hockey News (writers and select NHL managers) and even here, the majority selected Gretz as GOAT?



I can answer that! Me, me, pick me!!!

Me? Okay:

BECAUSE GRETZKY IS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME!!!

I'm not sure which i'm more shocked by:

1. Mario leads this poll
2. Gretzky's not running away with it
3. People trying to argue stats are "weak evidence" in this argument?

Hmmmm, since this poll is dealing with the users on this site (no offense, but not exactly NHL experts), i'll nix 1 and 2 and therefore have to choose #3....final answer!
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Guest0081
( )

Posted - 09/10/2009 :  17:30:00  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest5382


How about all the writers and managers who follow hockey for a living? The majority picked Gretz over Orr and Lemieux. Yep, those guys know nothing about hockey either. Just Bowman and Orr opinions matter.

Why do you think the top 50 from the Hockey News (writers and select NHL managers) and even here, the majority selected Gretz as GOAT?


All the writers and managers who follow hockey for a living? Do you mean those who thought the Bruins would miss the playoffs last year, or those who said that Alexander Daigle was the next Gretzky?
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