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Most Dominant Legend of His Sport? ( Federer vs. Gretzky )
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More Dominant Sports Legend?
Roger Federer
20%
 20%  [ 7 ]
Wayne Gretzky
65%
 65%  [ 23 ]
Other.
14%
 14%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 35

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BLick12


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steelcurtain29 wrote:
I'm sorry, but Gretzky wasn't the most dominant. Gretzky was the main piece of a team filled with Hall of Famers in their prime. I'm sorry, but I still feel that Gretzky, who was equal to Mario Lemieux, had the clear advantage (in terms of NHL records) because of the talent he played with.

Yes, Mario had years of NHL greats, but his injuries held him back, plus his best years ever were with guys like Rob Brown. Mario Lemieux puts up 199 points (85 goals) with two AHL players as his linemates. Gretzky puts up 200-215 while with guys like Glenn Anderson, Mark Messier, and Jari Kurri.

Switch these situations. Put Mario with those guys for the first 7-8 years and Gretzky with garbage. I bet conversations between the two call Mario the clear favorite.

Just look at the Olympics (when Mario / Gretzky played together). Clips from their play with others in the Olympics is a prime example.

Interestingly enough, I'm pretty certain that a study was done to compare this era to past eras, and even then, Gretzky wasn't the most dominant goal scorer. I'm pretty sure the study showed Ovechkin was a better goalie scorer than Gretzky. However, there will never be a better passer than Gretzky.


lol, c'mon. Don't be a homer. Lemieux played with an all-time great in Jagr, certainly better than anyone that was on the same line as Gretzky.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serious question here.

I'm very vaguely familiar with tennis, and know nothing about hockey. But isn't it very easy to tell if a tennis player is more dominant? Given the nature of the sport, where the top seeds meet so often, and the fact that it's an individual's sport, isn't it easy to tell how dominant one is? Like if Federer consistently cleaned up the top seeds in every tourney, that is undisputed dominance, right? In MMA, the champ might fight the top contender once, and never rematch, or get a rematch and that is it. In tennis the #1 seed can play the #2 seed several times in one year. Of all sports, it seems tennis is extremely easy to evaluate when it comes to these thing, no? In Hockey there's still a team element, which makes it hard to compare even when the best players go head to head. So in a way, you could say that Tennis (and I guess golf? I know even less about golf) is probably the toughest sport to dominate because you consistently (for the most part, I know top seeds get eliminated early every now and then) face the very best, and if someone does, it makes it more impressive.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mossburg wrote:
Serious question here.

I'm very vaguely familiar with tennis, and know nothing about hockey. But isn't it very easy to tell if a tennis player is more dominant? Given the nature of the sport, where the top seeds meet so often, and the fact that it's an individual's sport, isn't it easy to tell how dominant one is? Like if Federer consistently cleaned up the top seeds in every tourney, that is undisputed dominance, right? In MMA, the champ might fight the top contender once, and never rematch, or get a rematch and that is it. In tennis the #1 seed can play the #2 seed several times in one year. Of all sports, it seems tennis is extremely easy to evaluate when it comes to these thing, no? In Hockey there's still a team element, which makes it hard to compare even when the best players go head to head. So in a way, you could say that Tennis (and I guess golf? I know even less about golf) is probably the toughest sport to dominate because you consistently (for the most part, I know top seeds get eliminated early every now and then) face the very best, and if someone does, it makes it more impressive.


Two things.

1) In order to say more dominant you need something to compare it too. In order to say "more" dominant that Gretzky you would still need to determine the dominance of Gretzky

2) I don't agree with always beating top guys. We've seen even in team sports matchup matters. But a team can be worse but be a matchup nightmare. I don't think Nadal is as good as Federer (all-time great, but not as good as Fed), but he is a matchup nightmare because he has the one shot that really gives Fed trouble (a kick high to Fed's backhand which is made easier since he plays lefty) and the movement to back it up. Yet he is still prone to losing the odd match to lower opponents. Fed doesn't do that. So does the fact that Fed has a losing record to Nadal mean that Nadal is better? Or just that in that matchup Fed will have problems.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mse326 wrote:
Mossburg wrote:
Serious question here.

I'm very vaguely familiar with tennis, and know nothing about hockey. But isn't it very easy to tell if a tennis player is more dominant? Given the nature of the sport, where the top seeds meet so often, and the fact that it's an individual's sport, isn't it easy to tell how dominant one is? Like if Federer consistently cleaned up the top seeds in every tourney, that is undisputed dominance, right? In MMA, the champ might fight the top contender once, and never rematch, or get a rematch and that is it. In tennis the #1 seed can play the #2 seed several times in one year. Of all sports, it seems tennis is extremely easy to evaluate when it comes to these thing, no? In Hockey there's still a team element, which makes it hard to compare even when the best players go head to head. So in a way, you could say that Tennis (and I guess golf? I know even less about golf) is probably the toughest sport to dominate because you consistently (for the most part, I know top seeds get eliminated early every now and then) face the very best, and if someone does, it makes it more impressive.


Two things.

1) In order to say more dominant you need something to compare it too. In order to say "more" dominant that Gretzky you would still need to determine the dominance of Gretzky

2) I don't agree with always beating top guys. We've seen even in team sports matchup matters. But a team can be worse but be a matchup nightmare. I don't think Nadal is as good as Federer (all-time great, but not as good as Fed), but he is a matchup nightmare because he has the one shot that really gives Fed trouble (a kick high to Fed's backhand which is made easier since he plays lefty) and the movement to back it up. Yet he is still prone to losing the odd match to lower opponents. Fed doesn't do that. So does the fact that Fed has a losing record to Nadal mean that Nadal is better? Or just that in that matchup Fed will have problems.


I have no idea, you tell me. I can't really dissect the matchups. I'm not familiar with either guy's career. I just thought of that aspect of tennis which isn't around in any other sport. People always debated Kobe vs LeBron, but dudes never even met on a big stage. Manning vs Peyton, their teams were so different it's hard to compare even if they played in big playoff games.

Seems like it's comparing apples to tire irons.
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redsoxsuck05


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steelcurtain29 wrote:
I'm sorry, but Gretzky wasn't the most dominant. Gretzky was the main piece of a team filled with Hall of Famers in their prime. I'm sorry, but I still feel that Gretzky, who was equal to Mario Lemieux, had the clear advantage (in terms of NHL records) because of the talent he played with.

Yes, Mario had years of NHL greats, but his injuries held him back, plus his best years ever were with guys like Rob Brown. Mario Lemieux puts up 199 points (85 goals) with two AHL players as his linemates. Gretzky puts up 200-215 while with guys like Glenn Anderson, Mark Messier, and Jari Kurri.

Switch these situations. Put Mario with those guys for the first 7-8 years and Gretzky with garbage. I bet conversations between the two call Mario the clear favorite.

Just look at the Olympics (when Mario / Gretzky played together). Clips from their play with others in the Olympics is a prime example.

Interestingly enough, I'm pretty certain that a study was done to compare this era to past eras, and even then, Gretzky wasn't the most dominant goal scorer. I'm pretty sure the study showed Ovechkin was a better goalie scorer than Gretzky. However, there will never be a better passer than Gretzky.


With regards to the GPG (not your post) argument, if we compare Gretzky and Lemieux at age 28 they wouldn't have very different results. Fact is, because of injuries Lemieux did not play enough games in typical decline years i.e. mid-late 30s to even out the distribution.

No comment on how Lemieux played much of his career in the same very high scoring era? Shame on Gretzky being old when the dead puck era started! I'm sure a guy who happened to be a hobbled, beaten player by the time the era started and still scored 97 points wouldn't fare as well, or better in 1996 if he were young and healthy. And as much as I sympathize for Mario's ordeal with cancer, tales that he was was completely robbed of his athleticism are about as embellished as the myths of Gretzky being unathletic. You can not put up those numbers without retaining some form of physical dominance.

The teammates argument is pure speculation, not fact. You say Mario had his best season with two NHL-ers, yet when he had dominant all-stars such as Kevin Stevens along with greats such as Jagr, Tocchet, Francis, etc. he scored a lower adjusted PPG in 1992-93? It's an argument riddled with confounding factors

I understand people are sick of Gretzky being called the "Great One" so they downplay his greatness to be different. Or they are just Penguins fans.
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seminoles1


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mossburg wrote:
Like if Federer consistently cleaned up the top seeds in every tourney, that is undisputed dominance, right? In tennis the #1 seed can play the #2 seed several times in one year. Of all sports, it seems tennis is extremely easy to evaluate when it comes to these thing, no? In Hockey there's still a team element, which makes it hard to compare even when the best players go head to head. So in a way, you could say that Tennis (and I guess golf? I know even less about golf) is probably the toughest sport to dominate because you consistently (for the most part, I know top seeds get eliminated early every now and then) face the very best, and if someone does, it makes it more impressive.
For the most part, yes. If you make it deep into a Slam, then you're going to face great competition at one point. This was an interesting and incredible stat to me: Since 2005, Roger Federer is 167-4 in matches against everyone besides Nadal and Djokovic at Slams (those losses were all to top 10 players playing ridiculous tennis). You will never see Federer lose to someone like Rosol until he finally starts to really slip. Nadal is a top 10 (I think top 5) player of all-time, in his prime, at the biggest tennis tournament and one of the biggest sports tournaments in the world where he has won 2x and been a finalist 5x, etc., and yet he still found a way to lose to the #100 player in the world. It puts Federer's consecutive semifinal streak, quarterfinal streak, and record against non-top 3 players into serious perspective. He simply doesn't lose to the guys he isn't supposed to lose to. He'll put himself into serious trouble sometimes, but he finds a way out of it.

Federer does have a losing record to Nadal, but a lot of that is simply circumstance and the match-up. For about 5 years Federer was EASILY the 2nd best clay court player in the world. I actually think Federer is a top 5 clay court player of all-time, but he just happened to be playing against the king of clay all the time when he made it to the finals of tournaments. Nadal is in a league of his own, then Federer was in a league of his own, then everyone else was lagging way behind. So Federer always found himself facing the greatest clay court player of all-time and pretty much always lost (Nadal has a 12-2 advantage over Federer on clay). But for quite a few of those years Nadal was not nearly as great of a hard court player as he was a clay court player. So while Federer was winning US Opens and Australian Opens in his prime, Nadal was losing well before the Finals so Federer didn't get to pad his record against Nadal on that surface. When Nadal finally became a great hard court player, Federer was past his prime. He still has the advantage over Nadal 6-5, but it would be much worse if Nadal was able to actually make the finals of more tournaments during Federer's prime. It's the same thing with grass, though that's closer than hard courts.

As for the match-up between these 2, it's simple. Nadal's looping lefty forehand is a death sentence for Federer's backhand. It's by far Federer's biggest weakness and it just so happens to be Nadal's favorite shot. Just a really bad shot-to-shot situation for Federer. It's kind of miraculous Federer ever beat Nadal on clay with that huge disadvantage.

Fun fact about the stranglehold these 2 had on tennis: Between the Australian Open in 2004 and the 2010 US Open, Federer and Nadal won 24 of the 28 slams, including a streak of 16 out of 17 (and that Djokovic win in the 2008 Australian Open was only because Federer was still recovering from mono). Talk about a monopoly...
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

redsoxsuck05 wrote:


I understand people are sick of Gretzky being called the "Great One" so they downplay his greatness to be different. Or they are just Penguins fans.


The flip side of that is the Gretzky worshipers who downplay the fact that he played on a very good Edmonton team that won another Stanley Cup two years after the famous trade, and that Grezkty's former linemate Jari Kurri managed to put up 195 points that year too.

The closest that Gretzky came to winning another Cup after the trade was when the Kings lost to Montreal in the 1993 finals (by which time Kurri had also been traded to the Kings).
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

milanb wrote:
redsoxsuck05 wrote:


I understand people are sick of Gretzky being called the "Great One" so they downplay his greatness to be different. Or they are just Penguins fans.


The flip side of that is the Gretzky worshipers who downplay the fact that he played on a very good Edmonton team that won another Stanley Cup two years after the famous trade, and that Grezkty's former linemate Jari Kurri managed to put up 195 points that year too.

The closest that Gretzky came to winning another Cup after the trade was when the Kings lost to Montreal in the 1993 finals (by which time Kurri had also been traded to the Kings).


Nope.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mistake.

I was going off memory and it was a long time ago...

Embarassed

But Kurri did put up 102 and 93 points in the two seasons after the Gretzky trade.
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redsoxsuck05


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

milanb wrote:
My mistake.

I was going off memory and it was a long time ago...

Embarassed

But Kurri did put up 102 and 93 points in the two seasons after the Gretzky trade.


No biggie.

That being said, the Penguins were still like the Jordan-less Bulls without Lemieux. In 1993-94, Stevens, Jagr, and Francis still managed to have very good years. I'm sure that wasn't all in the 22 games Mario played.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

x0x wrote:
Federer's peers only started beating him when he was older and they were in their physical prime.


I think that's a bit generous for your argument. It had nothing to do with age that Nadal became better than Federer at a point. It wasn't because of Nadal's age or Federer slowing down. Nadal simply started out-playing Federer, and forced him into mistakes that Federer never made against anyone else. Federer never got gassed or looked slow against Nadal, only defeated.

x0x wrote:
I remember reading an article on how Andy Roddick would probably be a 10 Time Slam Champion if Federer didn't exist in his time.


Which I think is exaggerated. But possible, which only goes to show how poor of a field it was at the time, that a relatively one-dimensional player like Roddick could have dominated it.

seminoles1 wrote:
For the most part, yes. If you make it deep into a Slam, then you're going to face great competition at one point. This was an interesting and incredible stat to me: Since 2005, Roger Federer is 167-4 in matches against everyone besides Nadal and Djokovic at Slams (those losses were all to top 10 players playing ridiculous tennis). You will never see Federer lose to someone like Rosol until he finally starts to really slip. Nadal is a top 10 (I think top 5) player of all-time, in his prime, at the biggest tennis tournament and one of the biggest sports tournaments in the world where he has won 2x and been a finalist 5x, etc., and yet he still found a way to lose to the #100 player in the world.


Found a way? Rosol played out of his mind against Nadal. His ball speed and location were just off the charts. Nadal had nothing to work with, and couldn't rely on his serve because...well, it's never been that good. Also, I remember Federer being a few timely shots away from being ousted by Tipseravic in the Aussie a few years back who wasn't even top 50. Guys have games of a lifetime sometimes. It's hard to account for/predict.

seminoles1 wrote:
When Nadal finally became a great hard court player, Federer was past his prime. He still has the advantage over Nadal 6-5, but it would be much worse if Nadal was able to actually make the finals of more tournaments during Federer's prime. It's the same thing with grass, though that's closer than hard courts.


Again, you guys talk about Federer being "past his prime", yet if Nadal wasn't there playing TOP level tennis, Federer would have still been dominating the field at that point in his career. His game didn't drop off until recently. I mean, if you're going to try and tell me that 2008 Federer wasn't every bit as good as 2004 Federer, I'm just gonna shake my head. The guy didn't fall off one bit, the field just caught up to him. Nadal turned the corner outside of clay, then Djokovic stopped being an immature mental midget and put it all together. So yes, while Federer has shown an incremental decline over the last few years, the top guys themselves are light-years ahead of players like Roddick and Nalbandian.

I'd say Gretzky was more dominant. And I LOVE Mario Lemieux. My favorite hockey player ever, and I did root for the Pens growing up. But it's hard to argue what ifs and averages against totals. I bet one could make an argument for Fred Taylor being a better player than Marshall Faulk at some point using averages, but no one would remember it that way. Gretzky's teams were LOOOOADED! But Lemieux's teams were no slouch either. Jagr is a HOFer and one of the most talented offensive players in the last 20 years. Ron Francis is a HOFer, Paul Coffey is a HOFer, Joe Mullen is a HOFer. They had Mark Recchi for a little bit, Petr Nedved for a little bit. They were some great, great teams. Granted, Lemieux was the driving force of any Pens team, but it's not like he was playing with garbage out there. Kurri was more talented than Jagr, but not by a great amount.

Gretzky wasn't the 2-way player that Lemieux was. He wasn't the freakish athlete that Lemieux was, being a 6'4, 225 playmaking center was about as unfair as Larry Allen was at the time in the NFL. But he brought that special "it" factor that made him better than anyone else in the sport. He could score at will. He was like Barry Sanders at oSu. Flawed player? Sure. But ridiculously unstoppable. Lemiuex made it seem at times like he was playing children, being so much bigger, better, faster. But Gretzky just seemed like he was playing adults who were wholly unmatched. Like a Randy Johnson slider against a rec-league softball player. Defenders weren't even playing the same sport as Gretzky. And again, I LOVE Lemieux. And yeah, part of me wonders if he could have been better if not for his poor luck with health. But as is, Gretzky was better. And I think he was more dominant than Federer, who dominated a real low point in tennis the past 20 years. Which isn't his fault. The guy was awesome. Top 3 player ever. But Nadal's record against him is too good for a guy who was supposed to be the best ever. Federer is 10x more talented than Nadal will ever be at tennis. But Nadal always got in Federer's head in match-ups. And when doing what he did against everyone else didn't work, Roger got frustrated and made mistakes. It wasn't getting old. So yes, I think Gretzky was the more dominant player. Even when Lemieux was fully healthy, it was at-best a dead-heat. But once Nadal turned the corner at Wimbledon, Federer never seemed dominant again. Closer to dominated, by Rafa.....
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dbtb135 wrote:

Gretzky wasn't the 2-way player that Lemieux was. He wasn't the freakish athlete that Lemieux was, being a 6'4, 225 playmaking center was about as unfair as Larry Allen was at the time in the NFL. But he brought that special "it" factor that made him better than anyone else in the sport. He could score at will. He was like Barry Sanders at oSu. Flawed player? Sure. But ridiculously unstoppable. Lemiuex made it seem at times like he was playing children, being so much bigger, better, faster. But Gretzky just seemed like he was playing adults who were wholly unmatched. Like a Randy Johnson slider against a rec-league softball player. Defenders weren't even playing the same sport as Gretzky. And again, I LOVE Lemieux. And yeah, part of me wonders if he could have been better if not for his poor luck with health. But as is, Gretzky was better.


Neither Gretzky nor Lemieux was particularly renowned for their willingness to back-check or dig the puck out of the corner. Both of them feuded with coaches as a result. Both of them were surrounded with other playmakers who were great in their own right. Which is my problem with anointing either Gretzky or Lemieux as the most dominant player of all time.

The fact that Gretzky, Lemieux and Jagr between them won every single scoring title over a 20-year period is a staggering fact. But there's more to playing winning hockey than racking up point totals. Especially at playoff time when the games invariably come down to goaltending.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tough to compare because one plays a team sport and the other plays an individual sport. One measure of greatness in a team sport however is making your teammates better, and one stat that shows Gretzy did that is that with his 1963 assists, he didn't need to ever attempt a shot in the NHL and he would still have the most points in NHL history. Add in his nearly 900 goals and he blows everyones numbers out of the water.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EaglesFan5-36-81 wrote:
tough to compare because one plays a team sport and the other plays an individual sport. One measure of greatness in a team sport however is making your teammates better, and one stat that shows Gretzy did that is that with his 1963 assists, he didn't need to ever attempt a shot in the NHL and he would still have the most points in NHL history. Add in his nearly 900 goals and he blows everyones numbers out of the water.


Yes and no. If you pass the puck to someone who passes it to someone else who makes a great shot to score a goal, how much have you really done?

Kurri, Anderson, Messier: they were all great players whose stats did not decline significantly after Gretzky was traded. The Oilers won another Cup without Gretzky. Gretzky did not win another Cup after the trade.

If you want a player who really elevated his team's level of play look at Bobby Orr. Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, Wayne Cashman, Johnny Bucyk and Derek Sanderson were all good players who became great players with Orr on the ice.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

milanb wrote:
dbtb135 wrote:

Gretzky wasn't the 2-way player that Lemieux was. He wasn't the freakish athlete that Lemieux was, being a 6'4, 225 playmaking center was about as unfair as Larry Allen was at the time in the NFL. But he brought that special "it" factor that made him better than anyone else in the sport. He could score at will. He was like Barry Sanders at oSu. Flawed player? Sure. But ridiculously unstoppable. Lemiuex made it seem at times like he was playing children, being so much bigger, better, faster. But Gretzky just seemed like he was playing adults who were wholly unmatched. Like a Randy Johnson slider against a rec-league softball player. Defenders weren't even playing the same sport as Gretzky. And again, I LOVE Lemieux. And yeah, part of me wonders if he could have been better if not for his poor luck with health. But as is, Gretzky was better.


Neither Gretzky nor Lemieux was particularly renowned for their willingness to back-check or dig the puck out of the corner. Both of them feuded with coaches as a result. Both of them were surrounded with other playmakers who were great in their own right. Which is my problem with anointing either Gretzky or Lemieux as the most dominant player of all time.

The fact that Gretzky, Lemieux and Jagr between them won every single scoring title over a 20-year period is a staggering fact. But there's more to playing winning hockey than racking up point totals. Especially at playoff time when the games invariably come down to goaltending.


Are you more of an old-timer, Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe fan? Just wondering.

My philiosphy is while two-way play is important, if there is a player like Gretzky or Lemieux or Jagr who just dominates the ice but will go as far as throwing tantrums if they are told to play in a defensive system, I'll still take it over less dominant but more complete players. (that's one run-on sentence)

The Cups for all of these guys speak for themselves, although Messier and Francis picked up a lot of the defensive slack.

But let's be honest, Gretzky still put up outstanding numbers and turned around a very mediocre Kings team. The points drop only looks so precipitous because of what he was producing before whereas Kurri's good but not great output was helped by Messier and ilk. No one can argue that he didn't raise the level of his teammates to the extent of Bobby Orr.

Bobby Orr may have been the greatest who ever skated, but dominance IMO includes durability and longevity.

As for the assists versus goals--it works both ways. Gretzky was the brains of the line who can make the goal scorer's job much easier. Scoring 892 goals also is pretty good.
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