Like I pointed out in my other thread, Lemieux was possibly the best offensive player during his second NHL run despite playing with a broken back. But what about Gretzky? What if he had kept playing until the 2004 lockout? Let’s say Gretzky doesn’t retire in 1999 and decide to extend his career for 5 more years with a top contender team, committed to reach 3000 points, 1000 goals and win another cup. How successful will he had been in a role where he doesn’t have to carry a team? If Gretzky had the choice to sign with any team at the time, which team would’ve been the most optimal for the rest of his career? In my opinion, I think Colorado would have been the best choice for Gretzky’s career : signing a 5 year deal, ~30-35 millions. This would’ve been a good fit for the Avs to add Gretzky as 2-3 line center and as a PP specialist. Surrounded with the right players and smartly used, I honestly think Gretzky could’ve remain an offensive threat until the end of his career. Players like Howe, Selanne, Jagr, Bucyk, Bourque, Lidstrom (…and many more) were able to put up interesting amount of points during their early 40’s and remain good. Great players have this ability to adapt their style despite getting older, but in Gretzky’s case, we’re talking about the greatest player to ever play the game. That’s why it’s interesting to wonder how good he could've been with a top contender team. Here’s how I picture Gretzky’s last 5 seasons if he had signed with Colorado in 99, assuming he wouldn’t get injured during that time. SeasonPTSLeague rankGAGPPPG1999-2000 (39 y/o)1061st2680821,292000-01 (40 y/o)897th1871801,112001-02 (41 y/o)786th1761800,982002-03 (42 y/o)8710th2463821,062003-04 (43 y/o)6219th1547800,78Career total 3279N/a994228518911,73· 1999-2000: In his first season with the Avs, I could had pictured Gretzky having a bounce back year and win one more Art Ross at 39 years old, making him the oldest player in history to win the trophy, adding more to his record’s book. With Sakic and Forsberg missing games, he would've benefited playing as a first/second line center more often. · 2000-01: 5th Stanley Cup win with the stacked Avs team, would've benefited playing 2nd line center with Forsberg being injured. · 2001-02: Low scoring season, which mean a little drop of his offensive production. Still, top 10 in scoring and he would've benefited once again playing 2nd line center because of Forsberg being out for the whole season. · 2002-03: With Sakic out for a big part of the season, he would again play as 2nd line center and benefit playing with a dynamic Forsberg on the PP. · 2003-04: At 43, his point production would significantly drop but still be able to pick up +60 points. That being said, five more years of Gretzky with a good team could've potentially been one more Art Ross win(including 4 seasons in top 10 scoring) and one more Stanley Cup win. I don’t think he could've reached 1000 goals but he’d be damn close. Let me know your thoughts, would Gretzky had remain among the best players in the league if he signed with a top contender team in 1999? If so, which team? If not, do you think sticking around longer would've hurt his legacy?