Would playing 2 more years have helped/hurt Gretzky's legacy in any way?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by shazariahl, Sep 18, 2011.

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  1. shazariahl

    shazariahl Registered User

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    I'm mostly curious for those who think Lemieux, Orr, Howe, or whoever else was the better player - would playing another couple years and reaching more milestones, but at the cost of some PPG average have helped him or hurt him?

    Gretzky finished with 894 goals. 1963 assists. 2857 points. Those numbers are staggering, obviously. But with 1 more season he probably breaks 900 goals, putting him we'll guess more than 100 ahead of anyone else (Howe 2nd at 801), probably over 2000 assists. 2 seasons would have seen him probably exclipse 3000 points.

    My thoughts are though - would that matter? I mean, for people who care about such things, Gretzky's already way in front. Is 2000 assists really better than 1963, which is more than anyone else has points? Anyone who already thinks Gretzky's the best isn't going to think he's that much better just because of more points, are they? Most those who don't consider Gretzky the best are either going on things like Lemieux's adjusted PPG, or else Orr's 2 way dominance. I clearly understand the arguement for Orr - honestly, to me he's the only player with a legitimate arguement over Gretzky (though I personally still take Wayne). Or they use arguements about teammates, era, etc. But Gretzky spent plenty of years on other teams besides Edmonton, and in eras other than the 80's. So would 2 more seasons have mattered there either?

    This isn't just Gretzky specific either. My thoughts are that most people have an opinion of a player. Reaching a few more milestones or a few less isn't going to convince anyone one way or another. For anyone who thinks Lemieux was better, would Gretzky scoring 50 in 37 have mattered? Or 96 goals instead of 92? Or playing 2 extra years to break 3000 pts and 2000 assists? Probably not.

    But who knows - maybe I'm wrong. That's why I'm curious to see what others think on this. Maybe more milestones, even at the cost of a few PPG, would sway some people. Maybe Gretzky having a lower PPG than Lemieux would sway some the other way.
     
  2. Ruslan Zainullin

    Ruslan Zainullin Registered User

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    nah, gretzky was down to 60 something points his last year, he just couldnt perform like he used to and it would have been sad to see him score 30 points his last year. i think the only milestone he would have made is 900 goals, i dont think he would have reached 3000 points. he left at the right time.
     
  3. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    No, an extra 30 goals or 40 assists wouldnt push anyones opinion over the edge in favoring Gretzky over an Orr, Lemieux or whomever. The numbers are staggering enough as they sit. It was pretty obvious over the last few years of his career that his body couldnt keep up to his head anymore, bursts of brilliance sure, but nothing like the sustained kind of earlier years. It wouldve' been sad to watch. I rank the guy as the most gifted playmaker & goal scorer of all time, however, I dont rank him as the greatest hockey player of all time. To me, he's in a completely separate ethereal category; "out there"....
     
  4. RabbinsDuck

    RabbinsDuck Registered User

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    Gretzky was not someone who could play a grinding role like Trottier and Yzerman did, and Messier should have done.

    Where it could have tarnished his career a bit is if he went the Messier route and demanded top line and PP minutes.

    IMO, He called it quits at exactly the right moment.
     
  5. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I don't see how it would matter.

    People vote for Orr based on peak as a two-way player.

    People vote for Howe based on complete game and longevity as an elite player. (Gretzky was no longer elite in his final season).

    People vote for Lemieux based on being visually more impressive than Gretzky and on being able to maintain his ability to dominate into the dead puck era. (Wow, you can tell how tough it is for me to justify Lemieux over Gretzky by how hard it was for me to put it into words, haha).

    I don't see how Gretzky reaching some more milestones would affect anything.
     
  6. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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  7. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Uniqueness

    With the following four - Gretzky, Howe, Lemieux, Orr(listed) alphabetically, uniqueness is what defines and sets them apart.
     
  8. connellc

    connellc Registered User

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    Wayne said that if he got to play with Pavel Bure, he wouldn't have hung up his skates for another year. Would have been interesting to see him with Pavel. A very unique mixing of styles.

    Anyway, I would have loved to have him reach the 900 goals, but gosh 9 goals in his last year was pretty "meh" for Wayne, even if he was long in the tooth. An extra two years would have been like Igor Larionov, who I believe is a good comparison. Igor should have retired after his 2002 cup win, however, he played an extra couple years. It didn't hurt his legacy at all, but you could tell he was pretty much done after his first dozen games with the Devils and got scratched for the playoffs and played half a year. It wouldn't have been that much different with Wayne I think.
     
  9. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

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    It wouldnt neither help nor hurt his legacy.
    It would be interesting to see him play with Bure, but I dont think it would be stellar performance, it would be torture. Gretzky's body couldnt work such way as his head and look on the Bure's knees would be sad, like picture of two great but injured soldiers during heroic fight, when they made last decision to walk directly to the trenches.
     
  10. FootKnight

    FootKnight This ****ing team

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    I think he retired at the right time. I don't know whether it would have helped or hurt his legacy, but I think probably neither. The numbers are staggering on thier own and I've honestly never really thought about how close he was to 900 goals and 2000 assists until now.

    Of course, now that I am thinking about it, it would have been cool to see 900+ goals and 2000+ assists.
     
  11. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    I don't think he would have got 3000 points but I think Gretzky would have got 900 goals and 2000 assists had he played 2 more seasons. Would have been nice to see him play at 40.
     
  12. shazariahl

    shazariahl Registered User

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    That's mostly what I was thinking too. If people don't think 50 goals in 39 games or 163 assists in a season were enough, would scoring 50 in 36 or 37 really matter? Or 166 assists? Or 170? Probably not.
     
  13. Passchendaele

    Passchendaele Registered User

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    Uh, Gretzky was on pace for 62 assists over a full season in his last year, in the middle of the dead puck era. Still near the top of the league.
     
  14. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    No it wouldn't have changed anything. I know he badly wanted to play in the All-Star game in Toronto in 2000, but would it be worth a full season of being on that terrible Ranger team? I doubt it.

    He was just so banged up his last season. He had carried that team on his back the previous two years and lets face it he was just burned out. Sometimes the game can pass you by. Not every athlete knows this, but Gretzky did.

    His numbers are so staggering compared to his peers that it is hard to imagine him doing anything more. Most of us don't believe we'll ever see another 200 point season. Gretzky did this 4 times. What more could the man accomplish?
     
  15. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    Exactly, if Wayne had played 2 more or even 2 less years it would not have affected his legacy as the best player ever IMO.
     
  16. Lafleurs Guy

    Lafleurs Guy RIP Fugu

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    I think he quit at exactly the right time. Two more years wouldn't have helped or hurt, but he was a shadow of what he used to be. He went out while he was still a good player and it was the right time to leave the stage.
     
  17. Dalton

    Dalton Registered User

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    In answer to your first question. Having seen all 4 play, Gretzky was clearly the best. That's why he was called the great one and amazing.

    Playing more or perhaps a season or two less would have had no effect whatsoever on Gretzky's legacy. Or Orr's or Lemeiux's for that matter.

    All of those guys healthy and playing longer would just satisfy hockey fans joy at watching such pure magnificence.

    I wish such a talent would come along today so young people could understand just how easy these guys made the game look. What day in day out dominance truly means. Crosby seemed close to starting something before his concussion but he still has a long way to go if he's ever the same again, to join that elite group.
     

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