Would Gretzy have made it as big in the 50's early 60's

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by pappyline, Mar 17, 2006.

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  1. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    In the 50's & early 60's, you had to be tough and you had no goons to protect you. Howe, richard, Hull, Orr all fought their own battles. Small guys like mikita and henri Richard fought their own battles & were effective players. Wayne certainly had the ability butdid he have the toughness to compete in that ere?
     
  2. Lowetide

    Lowetide Registered User

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    Camille Henry was 5'9, 152 and he played over 600 games before expansion without getting his head knocked off. He and Val Fonteyne had long careers with very few PIMS (Fonteyne had like 26 career pims in 700+ games) so I think there was still a place for an extremely skilled one dimensional player if he was really that good.

    And Gretzky certainly was that good. I think a good comp for 99 would have been guyle fielder who CHOSE to play in the old WHL for most of his career but certainly could have played in the NHL (Punch Imlach tried to sign him on the same trip that got him Johnny Bower for the Leafs).
     
  3. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    The story I got from a Detroit player about Guyle Fielder is that Howe & Lindsay were partly responsible for Fielder not making it in Detroit. They didn't like him or his style of play or his courage. I suppose Fielder was disillusioned after that and rebuffed Imlach when he tried to sign him.

     
  4. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    Good response. I actually had Fielder and Henry in mind when I started this thread. Although gretzy is certainly much better than those two. Still he might have had a similiar career. You really had to hang tough in those days
     
  5. KOVALEV10*

    KOVALEV10* Guest

    I doubt Gretz could survive in that tough league going behind the net every time. He would be crushed by some dirty leaf or bruins player.
     
  6. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    If anything he would have dominated even more. The whole notion that nobody was allowed to hit Gretzky is the biggest load of crap. Guys wanted to kill Gretzky, but he was too good a skater and too smart to put himself in a situation to get drilled.

    Do people honestly think that while the Keenan coached Flyers were playing Gretzky in the finals that Tocchet, Sutter, Dave Brown, Hospadar, etc. etc. weren't trying to hit him ?

    Gretzky would dominate any era that you put him in. If anything his skills transfer more readily to other eras than Orr and Howe. While both Orr and Howe would also have been great in any era, Howe's size and stremgth advantage would be so great if he played right now .... smae could be said for Orr's skating ability. He'd still be an incredible skater, but the gap would be much smaller.

    Gretzky dominated with his intelligence and vision, and not pure physical ability.
     
  7. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Yeah, I mean no dirty players were around during the 80's or 90's. :shakehead
     
  8. KOVALEV10*

    KOVALEV10* Guest

    Not even close to the 50-s 60-s. Not even close to the 70-s even!
     
  9. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    Body contact was outlawed in the 90's. That's why there was so much scoring. Duh.
     
  10. KOVALEV10*

    KOVALEV10* Guest

    That's why Wayne turned into a 25 goal scorer in the most part of the 90-s :sarcasm: Seriously this is ridiculous. The 50-s 60-s were much tougher then the run and gun 80-s until the mid 90-s. Case closed.
     
  11. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    Because he got old and injured?

    Probably the same reason that Guy Lafleur couldn't score any more in the OMG RUN AND GUN 80's!!!1!
     
  12. KOVALEV10*

    KOVALEV10* Guest

    Do you not understand the meaning of sarcasm?
     
  13. Sorry

    Sorry Registered User

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    He was a guy that transcended the game in the eighties, if he had played twenty or thirty years earlier, he would have been a quantum leap.
     
  14. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    I understand the meaning of sarcasm, but sadly it doesn't convey itself very well online.
     
  15. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    Gretzky certainly has shown himself willing to work hard to be the best, so I see no reason to believe he would not be willing to fight for his right to be in the NHL. He worked hard to come back from injury, and scored at the top of Oilers fitness tests. He would have had to show he was willing to fight to earn "respect", but he wouldn't have to play like Ted Lindsay. King Clancy never won a fight in his life, and Syl Apps only had a couple of fights in his career.

    His career might look more like Dickie Moore's or Mario Lemieux's, dominance lessened and shortened by injury, but I would bet on him still having a HHoF career.
     
  16. Masao

    Masao Registered User

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    There were some players from the 60s still playing when Gretzky started in the NHL, and he was much better than they were.

    I see no reason why he wouldn't be the best player in the world in the 50s or 60s.

    And speaking of that, I think the physical game was WORSE in the 80s and 90s than in the 50s, simply for the reason that the players became better athletes and were thus a lot stronger.
     
  17. KariyaIsGod*

    KariyaIsGod* Guest

    Even more ridiculous is you insinuating that he wouldn't have been successful....
     
  18. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

    Youre assuming everyone thinks he was successful even now.

    I agree with the assertion that he woudl have had a Val Fonteyne career at best.

    Keenan was angling for Canada Cup coaching jobs - you had to be friends with the right crowd. The Rocket would have given Gretz a forearm shiver and not cared what Eagleson/Bettman/Mary Hart had to say.

    Suter's hit was a common one, seen a dozen times a period during a normal game. Ever see it?
     
  19. Lowetide

    Lowetide Registered User

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    A few things:

    1. I mentioned Val Fonteyne in my post but didn't mean to imply 99 would have had that level of career. No way.

    2. I believe hockey was more vicious and Gretzky's career may well have been shorter. But his skills would have found life in an earlier era imo.

    3. I'm an Oiler fan, but do not believe Wayne was the best player ever (imo it was Orr, but you could argue for Mario, Orr, Howe, Wayne, etc). I say this because I don't want to get into a "you're just a Gretzky nut" flame war.

    4. I think people make a mistake when looking at Gretzky's career and not slicing it up into portions. His "peak value" was just incredible and lasted several years. It was followed by a long period of heavy points but not really helping his team win as he had before. It is reasonable to argue that Wayne Gretzky's career may not have had the sustain it had in the 30 team NHL (he may have retired 4 years earlier as a for instance) but anyone who is trying to reasonably argue that 99 wasn't good enough to dominate offensively when he was at his best is going to have a hard time.

    jmo.
     
  20. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    I think the game might have been easier for Gretzky to handle in the 50s and 60s. Gretzky has always been considered smallish in his era, but in the 50s and 60s, he would have been the same size or bigger than guys like Howe, Hull, Mikita, Richard, and other offensive stars from that era.
     
  21. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

    Good points, but peak value meant in the West. Look at their playoff opponents during the Oilers "Dynasty".

    Luc had 23 goals in 77 games with the Rangers and slinked back to the Kings where he became a 40 goal scorer again.

    The West stats in the 80's are as meaningless as ogo-nogo's lists. Otherwise Denis Savard would still be remembered for something other than being a healthy scratch when the Habs won in 93.
     
  22. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    If you have something to say, you could feel free to do so without flaming another poster. The Savard analogy is really sophomoric by the way. It's like someone claiming that Guy Lafleur's Nordique years were reflective of his career ability. The guy was well past his prime in 93. :shakehead
     
  23. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    The question's hard to answere because we're trying to picture the style he played in a different era. When #99, hit the NHL, Yhe game changed. He and his team didn't profit from a run'n'gun style, they created it. The guy consistently lapped the field. If he had hit the league in a different era, the era would have been different. Only a few players were types that changed the game. He was one. Maybe he wouldn't have scored 225 points, but a great player's a great player.
     
  24. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    Good post mcphee. I think that this applies to all the great players. If a time machine could transport Orr, Shore, Lafleur, Gretzky, Richard, Morenz or Howe to any era they would be greats
     
  25. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    It would be amusing if not for the fact that you probably honestly believe it.

    I guess the Isles weren`t trying to hit him in `84 and the Bruins weren`t trying to hit him in `88. Not sure what Arbour and O`Reilly`s reasons could possibly be, but I`m sure you`ll come up with something. It`s all a pro-Gretzky conspiracy. Don`t ever drop that torch chooch.
     
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