This is b.s. People tried to hit him. Older players talked about it all the time. They wanted to hit Gretzky, but they couldn't. Players wanted to win games, they weren't going to sit back and not play because their owner wanted them to not hit Gretzky. There was an unwritten rule about cheap shots later in his career, and I could even buy guys not hitting him in pre-season out of respect, but when the games mattered, nobody is laying off a hit just because the owner tells them to. You also can't tell me that Semenko would be enough to get other teams goons to not try to hit him. They just couldn't. They certainly helped to make sure he wasn't cheap shotted, but as a whole, the "nobody tried to hit Gretzky" thing is completely fabricated.