What happened to Gretzky in St. Louis?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by FakeKidPoker*, Oct 3, 2011.

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  1. I was rather young when he was a Blue but I remember it was all but done that he was going to sign an extension with them and finish out his days feeding the puck to Hull

    So what happened?
     
  2. Jules Winnfield

    Jules Winnfield Registered User

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    [​IMG]

    This happened to Wayne Gretzky.
     
  3. GuineaPig

    GuineaPig Registered User

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    Can you imagine what would've happened if not for Iron Mike? Take that stacked Blues roster, add Gretzky and Cujo, and bam! A million Stanley Cups.
     
  4. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Gretzky to Hull would have been a great combination. It's a shame that those 2 only got 2 months to play together.
     
  5. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    Keenan happened, I think the Corson episode was the deal breaker.
     
  6. albertGQ

    albertGQ Registered User

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    What was the Corson episode?
     
  7. GreatGonzo

    GreatGonzo Registered Derp

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    God i cant imagine that Blues team if Gretzky had stayed. Talk about stacked: Hull, MacInnis, Pronger...
     
  8. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    I don't remember the exact details but Corson got hit and returned to the bench in serious pain. Keenan chewed him off for being weak and not a teamplayer so Corson played the next shift and the rest of the game. Later it was revealed that Corson had suffered a broken jaw.
     
  9. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    a power play with macinnis AND hull, with the puck on wayne's stick... i can't even imagine. but then again it happened, however briefly, and i have no recollection of this so maybe it sounds better than it actually would have been.
     
  10. No chemistry between Hull and the Great One is my guess.
     
  11. GreatGonzo

    GreatGonzo Registered Derp

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    True. At least it sounds bad a** :yo:
     
  12. bluemandan

    bluemandan Ya Ma Goo!

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    First response got it right. Rumor has it Hull even told Gretzky not to re-sign in St. Louis because of Keenan. Just in case Wayne had doubts about Iron Mike after his two months in St. Louis.
     
  13. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    It's hard to have chemistry when the chemist doesn't know how to mix you.
     
  14. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    St. Louis's power play was 18 for 98 in the regular season and 13 for 67 in the playoffs after the trade. Total of 31 for 165 or 18.8%, which would have been 11th best in the 1995-96 regular season. St. Louis was only 56 for 350 or 16.0% before the trade.

    The funny thing was that St. Louis had a below-average power play in 3 out of the 4 seasons that MacInnis and Hull played together. Those were the only 3 seasons in which MacInnis played at least 60 games and his team was not top-10 on the power play. A lack of supporting talent was at least part of the reason for this, but the fact is that the MacInnis/Hull combo was not the power play force one would expect it to have been.
     
  15. The Grouch

    The Grouch Enraged

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    The problem with the Blues' powerplay during those years wasn't Hull and/or MacInnis, it was the horrible second unit that couldn't be counted on to score.



    It wasn't a coincidence that MacInnis' coach during those 3 seasons was Mike Keenan.
     
  16. shazariahl

    shazariahl Registered User

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    I saw an interview with Keenan, so take this for what it's worth, but he said that Gretzky and Hull just didn't have the chemistry people expected. His theory was that they were both players that liked to carry the puck. With Kurri, Gretzky would carry the puck in, then circle back and hit the trailer, or cut across the D, usually pulling 1 or both of them to him just because he was Wayne Gretzky. Then, once the D were commited, he'd pass to an open Kurri.

    Unfortunately, Hull was also the kind of player who liked to carrry the puck. He liked to streak down the wing, and either shoot or take the D wide with his speed, and try to make something happen that way. Since they couldn't both carry the puck in across the line, it just wasn't as compatable as people had thought.

    Also, Gretzky was the king of cycling the puck, back before people really called it cycling. That was one reason he was so effective behind the net. But that just didn't seem to mesh with Hull's style. Hull was more like Stamkos, IMO, trying to get open or set up for that one quick shot, usually from the slot or face-off circle. That was quite a bit outside Gretzky's range though, when playmaking from behind the net. Those passes were usually very short, trying to hit someone at the side of the net or top of the crease at most.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  17. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    wow, that is weird. two of the greatest PP shooters of all time, you'd think that would be hell on PK units having to cover them both and being unable to overcommit with the threat of the other being left open.

    they had some good playmakers as well, between janney, turgeon, demitra, and briefly hawerchuk, gretzky, and stastny's last few games before he retired. d-men like duchesne, pronger, even kravchuk had a pretty decent PP record elsewhere. none of those three HHOF centers was anywhere near his prime, but still i don't think those blues lacked the talent. they had shanahan to stretch the d that first year too. it couldn't all have been keenan, could it?
     
  18. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    that makes sense. i was just looking at that '96 blues playoff roster, where gretzky scored at a pretty good pace. their other three centers were adam creighton, craig mactavish, and a really broken down peter zezel. all keenan favourites and good guys to have on a contender, but all pretty much character fourth line centers at that point.

    that team had some really great first line offensive talent, but almost no scoring depth. the first unit looks like it would have been: corson/courtnall - hawerchuk, who was traded for mact around the time they got gretzky - hull - macinnis - pronger. corson had a really good year on the PP, FWIW.

    going by power play goals for stats on hockey-reference, the second unit would have been whichever of corson or courtnall wasn't on the first unit, and then a puu puu platter of keenan's boys: either zezel or creighton at center, the keenan twins noonan and matteau on the wings, with glenn anderson one day before retirement doing spot duty. on the points: one of kravchuk and jeff norton, who were traded for each other, and some combination of the immortal christer olsson, j.j. daigneault (seriously), and probably zezel or macinnis/pronger double shifting. i can just imagine the smile on keenan's face as he puts out a PP of matteau - creighton - noonan (his third line from the '92 hawks is now his 2nd PP unit) with zezel and kravchuk on the points. in your face, craig janney.

    one other thing is that i find it really hard to believe that that same unit wouldn't have destroyed the league the year after. but that blues roster was filled top-to-bottom with deadline acquisitions. continuity was not iron mike's forte, and while it worked that one time in new york, wasn't that the general complaint about his time in st. louis-- lots of pieces, many of them good ones, but never being allowed to gel?
     
  19. The Grouch

    The Grouch Enraged

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    It sounds like you have it exactly right. One of the worst(but sometimes overlooked) things about the Keenan era in St. Louis was that in addition to the coach, he was also the general manager. As a GM he was all over the place... Tikkanen in, Tikkanen out, Hawerchuk in, Hawerchuk out, Carbonneau in, Carbonneau out, Norton in, Norton out, Lidster in, Lidster out, Matteau in, Matteau out. It seemed like Keenan was hell-bent on bringing "his" players into the organization, but then would impulsively dump those players for questionable returns. The team never could build chemistry.

    Gretzky landed in a tumultuous situation in St. Louis, and I don't blame him for leaving. Keenan was having personality clashes with everyone. The city of St. Louis breathed a collective sigh of relief the day Joel Quenneville was hired.
     
  20. Jinsell

    Jinsell Registered User

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    Although that 1995-96 St. Louis Blues team looked great on paper, the truth of the matter was they really weren't that great on the ice, going only 32-34-16. Even after acquiring Gretzky on February 27, 1996 the team only won 6 of their last 21 games (6-10-5 from February 29 to April 14, 1996). That's pretty bad...

    This is not to say that's Gretzky's fault. I think egos played a part in hurting this team. Certainly Keenan's and Hull's and even Gretzky's. The reasons the Great One's tenure in St. Louis was a flop have already been well-documented above (ie. he didn't get along with Keenan and had no chemistry playing with Hull).

    On a side note: the Blues managed to get their act together in the playoffs this year only to run into a ridiculously stacked Detroit Red Wings team. There's that famous "history will be made" moment where Steve Yzerman blasts a shot past Blues' goalie Jon Casey to win the series. The only part everyone (especially the NHL) seems to forget is that Wayne Gretzky was the player who turned the puck over only moments before. It's really interesting the way history is written.
     
  21. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    You do realize that they lost in the 2nd round that year don't you?
     
  22. connellc

    connellc Registered User

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    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1208/is_n31_v220/ai_18527373/

     
  23. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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  24. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Its weird that Keenan says that. Hull was the perfect winger to play with Gretzky. He was a master of getting into the open slot or wing and one-timing a pass. We see how well Stamkos does it, but most would agree Hull did it better than anyone else. A common thing with Hull is that sometimes you didn't know he was on the ice until he blew the puck by you, whether that's a good thing or not, the truth is Gretzky was the type of player you always noticed (even if he managed to sneak to open ice) and that really should have been magic with those two all-time greats.

    I just don't think they were together long enough. You can't expect to see the full potential of two players playing together within three months. I don't think we ever saw just how lethal Hossa and Crosby would have been and they were better together than Hull and Gretzky at that time.

    Hull was never a player I thought carried the puck all that often, nor do I understand why Keenan thought so too. Maybe to take the blame off of him? Sad to say, Keenand was gone a couple months into the 1996-'97 season so Wayne wouldn't have had to put up with him much longer.

    To Gretzky's credit though, he turned over the puck in between the red line and the Red Wings' blue line. That distance alone wasn't the reason for the goal since it was scored from the Blues' blueline past Jon Casey. While Yzerman did hammer that puck like something awful the truth is despite the giveaway that still shouldn't have resulted in a goal.
     
  25. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    Something I seem to recall about Keenan back then and his coaching philosophy towards the powerplay... I believe that Keenan did not believe in practicing the powerplay and left that up to the players to improvise. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that Keenan didn't have his team practice the powerplay.
     

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