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thenewestlights

Gretzky's Greatness from Another Angle

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Posted (edited)

 

Over the last couple months I've read more about Wayne Gretzky, along the way discovering information about his time on ice with Edmonton. (TOI wasn't officially tracked til his last season.) Some Oiler fans have re-watched games, posted that he played 30 minutes or more in games. I've even read a quote or two attributed to Glen Sather that he'd double- or even triple-shift Gretz.

 

So I thought it'd be interesting, as well as not controversial at all ;), to compare Wayne Gretzky to Sidney Crosby based off TOI adjustments. Especially because I've read people defend Crosby against Wayne because the former has had less TOI in Pittsburgh than Wayne did as an Oiler. I know there are other factors, such as different eras and styles of play, that I could invoke to instigate intense Crosby v. Gretzky conversations :D, but I thought Time On Ice would be one interesting way to match these two great players. 

 

Wayne's best point season was 212 in 1981-82. Sid the Kid's best point season was 120 in 2006-07. Crosby had twenty minutes average TOI that stretch. So let's give each 82 games for their respective years, adjust Wayne's stats as if he double-, not triple-, but double-shifted each game, and here's how things shake out: 

 

:oilers: Gretzky - 148 points 

 

Crosby :penguins: - 123 points 

 

Great seasons for both to be sure! Here's where things get wilder with Wayne: I got wondering how he'd rank on season scoring leader boards after adjusting his stats down to twenty minutes per game as if he usually averaged 30 minutes per game with the Oilers. Here's what emerged...

 

1981-82 tied for ninth after double shift adjustment

1982-83 tied for twelfth [DSA] 

1983-84 eleventh place [DSA] 

1984-85 ninth place [DSA] 

1985-86 ninth place [DSA] 

1986-87 twelfth place [DSA]

 

[he played nine seasons with the Oils] 

 

This man's insane! Insane through yet another angle to investigate his incredible career. And I investigated this angle in part because it seems some people try hard to knock Wayne down a notch or two--"He had great teammates"; "He had more time on ice"; "He was protected by team bullies and league refs"--rather than just accept that he was and remains an all-time hockey legend for substantive reasons. Such as his play and production! Silly or valid considerations about his career don't come within a mountain range from removing him off Hockey's Everest. Just so you know that I'm a somewhat reasonable person :) I pick Bobby Orr :bruins: first to begin any organization.  

 

And how in the hockey sticks did Wayne Gretzky hold up playing 30 or more minutes per game? Well his vision, anticipation, and agility had him maximizing his moves. He also wasn't a player who'd go to the corner boards and slug it out for the puck, something Crosby's much more prone to do; nor was he the type o' bloke to regularly invite the Tie Domis and Bob Proberts of the world to meet by the willow tree at 3. Gretzky loved playing hockey too. Love can be a cup of Joe :joe: times five :hyper: when it comes to providing energy for life's endeavors. 

 

Your thoughts, folks? :toast:

 

   

Edited by thenewestlights
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I really think different era's of play contributes a lot to Gretzky's greatness.  The talent level of the league as a whole wasn't as skilled offensively and defensively as it is today.  Back then teams' checking lines couldn't keep up with Edmonton's speed and skills.  Many teams used the 4th line sparingly allowing extra minutes to be played by a team like Edmonton's first line.  

 

While I think if Gretzky played in today's game he still would be top of the point charts, I just don't think he would have as many records as he currently holds.

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On 7/22/2017 at 8:07 PM, thenewestlights said:

Some Oiler fans have re-watched games, posted that he played 30 minutes or more in games. I've even read a quote or two attributed to Glen Sather that he'd double- or even triple-shift Gretz.

 

Wow. I had no idea his ice time was so high. I'd have to see some definitive numbers to know for sure, but today's "rolling line" style of NHL certainly does prevent star players from breaking away from the pack.

 

In sports like the NBA, star players can play a huge chunk of the game. In the NHL, star players play about 5 minutes more than Joe Average. The NHL doesn't lend itself to the creation of stars. :)

 

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On 7/25/2017 at 7:28 AM, hf101 said:

I really think different era's of play contributes a lot to Gretzky's greatness.  The talent level of the league as a whole wasn't as skilled offensively and defensively as it is today.  Back then teams' checking lines couldn't keep up with Edmonton's speed and skills.  Many teams used the 4th line sparingly allowing extra minutes to be played by a team like Edmonton's first line.  

 

While I think if Gretzky played in today's game he still would be top of the point charts, I just don't think he would have as many records as he currently holds.

 

AND the team that he played on.

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On 8/14/2017 at 7:17 AM, WordsOfWisdom said:

Wow. I had no idea his ice time was so high. I'd have to see some definitive numbers to know for sure, but today's "rolling line" style of NHL certainly does prevent star players from breaking away from the pack.

 

Do you know what's kind of wild too... I got wondering about other 

prolific scorers from the 1980s, how many may have double-shifted.

Using my memory and Quant Hockey's site, I searched [name & double shift]

and I couldn't find anything about anyone else, of the ones I checked, other than

Mike Bossy :islanders:, about whom anything was written regarding extra shifts. (Mike 

was double-shifted sometimes. Can't imagine why a coach would want 

a guy like that on the ice all that much.) :D My search wasn't all-inclusive but

not that much popped up right away. 

 

It'd be interesting :scratcheshead: to have TOI stats for all players from all eras. 

That could make for some more interesting comparing and contrasting 

between the greats. :searching:

 

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      Post
      I really think different era's of play contributes a lot to Gretzky's greatness.  The talent level of the league as a whole wasn't as skilled offensively and defensively as it is today.  Back then teams' checking lines couldn't keep up with Edmonton's speed and skills.  Many teams used the 4th line sparingly allowing extra minutes to be played by a team like Edmonton's first line.     While I think if Gretzky played in today's game he still would be top of the point charts, I just don't think he would have as many records as he currently holds.
    • 1
      Post
        Over the last couple months I've read more about Wayne Gretzky, along the way discovering information about his time on ice with Edmonton. (TOI wasn't officially tracked til his last season.) Some Oiler fans have re-watched games, posted that he played 30 minutes or more in games. I've even read a quote or two attributed to Glen Sather that he'd double- or even triple-shift Gretz.   So I thought it'd be interesting, as well as not controversial at all , to compare Wayne Gretzky to Sidney Crosby based off TOI adjustments. Especially because I've read people defend Crosby against Wayne because the former has had less TOI in Pittsburgh than Wayne did as an Oiler. I know there are other factors, such as different eras and styles of play, that I could invoke to instigate intense Crosby v. Gretzky conversations , but I thought Time On Ice would be one interesting way to match these two great players.    Wayne's best point season was 212 in 1981-82. Sid the Kid's best point season was 120 in 2006-07. Crosby had twenty minutes average TOI that stretch. So let's give each 82 games for their respective years, adjust Wayne's stats as if he double-, not triple-, but double-shifted each game, and here's how things shake out:     Gretzky - 148 points    Crosby  - 123 points    Great seasons for both to be sure! Here's where things get wilder with Wayne: I got wondering how he'd rank on season scoring leader boards after adjusting his stats down to twenty minutes per game as if he usually averaged 30 minutes per game with the Oilers. Here's what emerged...   1981-82 tied for ninth after double shift adjustment 1982-83 tied for twelfth [DSA]  1983-84 eleventh place [DSA]  1984-85 ninth place [DSA]  1985-86 ninth place [DSA]  1986-87 twelfth place [DSA]   [he played nine seasons with the Oils]    This man's insane! Insane through yet another angle to investigate his incredible career. And I investigated this angle in part because it seems some people try hard to knock Wayne down a notch or two--"He had great teammates"; "He had more time on ice"; "He was protected by team bullies and league refs"--rather than just accept that he was and remains an all-time hockey legend for substantive reasons. Such as his play and production! Silly or valid considerations about his career don't come within a mountain range from removing him off Hockey's Everest. Just so you know that I'm a somewhat reasonable person  I pick Bobby Orr  first to begin any organization.     And how in the hockey sticks did Wayne Gretzky hold up playing 30 or more minutes per game? Well his vision, anticipation, and agility had him maximizing his moves. He also wasn't a player who'd go to the corner boards and slug it out for the puck, something Crosby's much more prone to do; nor was he the type o' bloke to regularly invite the Tie Domis and Bob Proberts of the world to meet by the willow tree at 3. Gretzky loved playing hockey too. Love can be a cup of Joe  times five  when it comes to providing energy for life's endeavors.    Your thoughts, folks?       
    • 1
      Post
        Do you know what's kind of wild too... I got wondering about other  prolific scorers from the 1980s, how many may have double-shifted. Using my memory and Quant Hockey's site, I searched [name & double shift] and I couldn't find anything about anyone else, of the ones I checked, other than Mike Bossy , about whom anything was written regarding extra shifts. (Mike  was double-shifted sometimes. Can't imagine why a coach would want  a guy like that on the ice all that much.)  My search wasn't all-inclusive but not that much popped up right away.    It'd be interesting  to have TOI stats for all players from all eras.  That could make for some more interesting comparing and contrasting  between the greats.   

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