Gretzky's Career as 2 Different Players

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Art of Sedinery, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. Art of Sedinery

    Art of Sedinery Registered User

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    How would we judge Oilers Gretzky and Post-Oilers Gretzky if they were two different players?

    Oilers Gretzky:
    696 Games
    583 Goals (20th All-Time)
    1086 Assists (6th All-Time)
    1669 Points (8th All-Time)

    120 Playoff Games
    81 Playoff Goals (8th All-Time)
    171 Playoff Assists (2nd All-Time)
    252 Playoff Points (2nd All-Time)

    8 x Hart
    7 x Art Ross
    5 x Pearson
    2 x Conn Smythe
    7 x AS-1
    2 x AS-2
    4 x Stanley Cups

    Post-Oilers Gretzky:
    791 Games
    311 Goals (190th All-Time)
    877 Assists (22nd All-Time)
    1188 Points (47th All-Time)

    88 Playoff Games
    41 Playoff Goals
    89 Playoff Assists
    130 Playoff Points

    1 x Hart
    3 x Art Ross
    1 x AS-1
    4 x AS-2


    Questions that arise for me:
    1. Would Oilers Gretzky still be considered the best of all-time?
    2. Would the reason why he retired at 28 Affect his legacy (injury vs. healthy vs. non-hockey reasons)
    3. What would Post-Oilers Gretzky legacy be? Where would be rank in history?
     
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  2. Dingo

    Dingo Registered User

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    I think Oilers Gretz’ is basically Orr-level, but with more playoff success. There would be arguments about his lack of a two way game, but he would still be number one to some, and still top 4 to anyone, I think.

    Post-Oilers Gretz? Second best offensive player of his era, more playoff success than Jagr.... ya, I’m seeing Jagr level...ish.

    Edit -sorry, less success than Jags, better numbers, I think... without having looked, lol. And I guess with the lack of longevity he would fall behind Jagr.... probably between Lindros and Jagr somewhere.
     
  3. Art of Sedinery

    Art of Sedinery Registered User

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    Oilers Gretzky compared to Orr is a good one. Similar games played. In that scenario, is there no accepted number one? Is the big 4 really wide open and a constant debate?

    The gap between Jagr and Lindros is rather substantial, to me anyways. Post-Oilers Gretzky is probably a lot closer to Lindros. Again similar games played, 1 Hart each.
     
  4. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    8 Hart trophies in 9 years?

    Oilers' Gretzky solidified his claim to best player ever.
     
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  5. GlitchMarner

    GlitchMarner Formerly 29GoalHoglund

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    Oilers career Gretzky is absolutely ridiculous.

    "Second career" Gretzky is at about a Sakic level if you take average out Sakic's career across 791 regular season games (remember, Sakic would have two Art Rosses if not for Lemieux and Jagr).

    So in Gretzky you have a player who is insanely dominant with EDM and then roughly on the average level of a guy who is a legit Hall of Famer and an All-Time Great himself for about 800 RS games rolled into one. That's a tremendous career.
     
  6. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    It should be noted that the scoring-rankings in the OP are by today's standards. But by then contemporary standards, Gretzky was much higher in his own time. For example, his Edmonton career is listed as 6th-all time in Assists, but actually was 1st all time when he left Edmonton. Likewise, he was 1st all-time in playoff points by age 26, and 2nd (or 3rd?) all-time in career regular season points.

    Yes, of course. His Edmonton career alone is undoubtedly the greatest 9-year stretch (or 8, or 7, or 6, or 5, or 4, or 3, or 2, or 1) of any player in history. He really didn't accomplish anything that added to his legacy after leaving Edmonton, except for career totals.
    NOTE: should be 27.
    That depends on how much one wants to factor in longevity. I think, in that case, most people (probably even more than today) would say he was the best player ever, but not necessarily with the best career, although even there he'd have a case. It's just that 9 seasons, and/or retirement at 27, isn't as substantial as, say, the career of Beliveau, Howe, etc. Much as Orr's career is looked at today.
     
  7. Art of Sedinery

    Art of Sedinery Registered User

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    The question you quoted here was regarding Post-Oilers Gretzky. He would not be considered the greatest of all-time. He would probably be a step ahead of Eric Lindros, had a few all-time great seasons with a big "what if" hanging over him.
     
  8. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Ah, I see. My mistake. It's really hard for me to evaluate post-Oilers' Gretzky in a vacuum, as so much of it was colored by the legacy of his Oilers' years. Difficult to say.
     
  9. Pominville Knows

    Pominville Knows Induct me allready :/

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    Difficult, but not impossible. Just view it as you would have doing the same with Roy pre/post-Montreal.
     
  10. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    He would still be a HHOFer.

    Given his back injuries during those years people would wonder 'what if' .. he had been healthy, or ... he had been younger (comparisons to Johnny Bower who had a HHOF career after joining the NHL in his late twenties).
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  11. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    I like looking for opportunities to bash Gretzky but you don't need a 'two way game' when you score 200 points a year. Or 150 for that matter.




    1. I don't consider him the best, I consider Orr the best.

    2. No, I'm a big believer in Peak over Longevity and he won the majority of his Rosses, captained a dynasty all during his time with the oilers.

    3. Great but not generational. At that point he'd be easily behind mario and probably Esposito.Somewhere near the level of Lafleur and Jagr in terms of offensive prowess, maybe a bit ahead due to big seasons. 3 art rosses, big season of 168 points his first year best rookie of all time? 18 year old Phenom or late bloomer from the Minors?
     
  12. MIAtoBKLYN

    MIAtoBKLYN Registered User

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    2.4 PPG
    2.1 PPG

    GOAT
     
  13. MS

    MS 1%er

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    I tend to divide it as '20s Gretzky' and '30s Gretzky'.

    Gretzky in his 20s was the most dominant player that ever lived. Gretzky in his 30s was not much different from Ron Francis and Adam Oates in their 30s.
     
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  14. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    at the time of the trade gretzky was 5th all-time in goals, already the all time assists leader, and 3rd all-time in points. in roughly a season's worth of games more than 1/3 of the games howe played and 1/2 of the games that dionne and espo played. startling.

    but as i was looking that up, these things jumped out at me and maybe are even more startling (the bolded names)--

    RkPlayerPTSGP
    1Gordie Howe*18501767
    2Marcel Dionne*17481311
    3Wayne Gretzky*1669696
    4Phil Esposito*15901282
    5Stan Mikita*14671396
    6John Bucyk*13691540
    7Gilbert Perreault*13261191
    8Bryan Trottier*1284991
    9Alex Delvecchio*12811550
    10Jean Ratelle*12671280
    11Guy Lafleur*1246961
    12Norm Ullman*12291410
    13Jean Beliveau*12191125
    14Bobby Clarke*12101144
    15Bobby Hull*11701063
    16Mike Bossy*1126752
    17Darryl Sittler*11211096
    18Frank Mahovlich*11031181
    19Denis Potvin*10521060
    20Henri Richard*10461258
    21Rod Gilbert*10211065
    22Bernie Federko*1006861
    23Lanny McDonald*9881060
    24Rick Middleton9881005
    25Dave Keon*9861296
    26Andy Bathgate*9731069
    27Maurice Richard*966978
    28Bobby Orr*915657
    29Peter Stastny*901603
    30Brad Park*8961113
    31Butch Goring8881107
    32Bill Barber*883903
    33Dennis Maruk877882
    34Ivan Boldirev8661052
    35Yvan Cournoyer*863968
    man, as soon as all the players who began their careers between 1977 and 1991 played out their careers, the record book completely changes doesn't it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  15. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    as for post-oilers gretzky, keep this in mind.

    all-time points/game as of gretzky's retirement:

    1. oilers gretzky - 2.40
    2. mario - 2.01
    3. lalonde - 1.69
    4. post-oilers gretzky - 1.50189633
    5. bossy - 1.49734043
    6. malone - 1.40
    7. lindros 1.39
    8. selanne 1.33
    9. dionne 1.31
    10. jagr 1.30

    all-time points/game today:

    1. oilers gretzky - 2.40
    2. mario - 1.88
    3. lalonde - 1.69
    4. post-oilers gretzky - 1.50189633
    5. bossy - 1.49734043
    6. malone - 1.40
    7. orr 1.39
    8. dionne 1.31
    9. crosby 1.29
    10. stastny 1.27

    i also wonder if gretzky had magically entered the league in the fall of 1988 as a 26 year-old. he probably doesn't win the hart in 1989, but does he win it in 1990? i think he almost certainly wins it in '91.

    he retains the all-time single-season assist record, with 122, which is 8 assists clear of #2 (which he shares with mario).
     
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  16. Nick Hansen

    Nick Hansen Registered User

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    No real way to make sense of this. Gretzky was Gretzky - not two different players.
     
  17. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Oilers Gretzky would still be seen as the best though lack of longevity would lead to more arguments on it. Post-Oilers Gretzky would probably be in those Sakic/Yzerman discussions somewhere, but of course if you cut out the first 9 years of anyone's career..there usually isn't much left. The fact you could spin two Hall of Fame careers out of Gretzky's one career is remarkable and if anything cements his G.O.A.T. status.
     
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  18. Art of Sedinery

    Art of Sedinery Registered User

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    Thank you for your contribution.
     
  19. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    I agree with the idea that Edmonton Gretzky is still a big four player and pretty similar to Orr and that post-Edmonton Gretzky is somewhat in the Sakic-Yzerman range. Obviously lacking in longevity and largely bereft of defensive contributions but an absolutely tremendous peak.
     
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  20. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    also worth noting, gretzky in LA: 1.70 points/game
     
  21. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    I think this is a huge understatement. Rather than being "pretty similar to Orr", Gretzky would have three times' Orr's trophy case, and twice as many Stanley Cups.

    I not sure "bereft of defence" is even relevant when the player's ES dominance is equivalent to Orr's over the same time frame and way ahead of any other player's in the League.

    Point being: Gretzky's post-Edmonton career (and esp. post 1990-91) doesn't really add anything to his legacy. If anything, it detracts from it.
     
  22. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    I don't care much about trophies if it's a player I am familiar with, especially if the trophy is a team trophy. It's obvious that Edmonton Gretzky and Orr are very comparable. The lack of defence was about the post-Edmonton Gretzky and is very relevant, though I suppose that point wasn't the clearest. Post-Edmonton Gretzky is a plus for his career as a player who could age well post-peak is preferable to a player who was never healthy enough to have a post-peak.
     
  23. MIAtoBKLYN

    MIAtoBKLYN Registered User

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    Not according to many posters here. Most hold his longevity/2nd half against him. Always cute seeing career averages from the much shorter careers of Lemieux and Bossy trotted out and used against Wayne. Same with those that swear minimal drop off for the hypothetical latter half of Orr's career.
     
  24. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Gretzky has been the obvious choice for so long that many people will argue against it just because they are bored with it, or they enjoy being contrarian and think that makes them special.
     
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  25. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Scotty Bowman thinks Gordie Howe is the greatest player ever.

    Reasonable people can disagree as a matter of reflected opinion.

    There is a decent case that could be made for any of three alternatives to Wayne.
     

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