Gretzky is one of the reasons for the current training programs, he was the first player known to train all year long, and he was one of the fittest guys who played, his only vice was smoking.
1) With his training from the 80s, he would still be one of the dominant players in the game. His skills came as much from his brain and his uncanny ability to find open people, or be open himself
2) His program is the same program used by a lot of the leagues top teams
Your comment...............goalies are way better? What do you base this on? Players such as Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Chris Chelios and Mario Lemieux who played against the goaltenders of the 80s have all said that the goaltenders of yesteryear were far superior skill wise to goaltenders today. Mario Lemieux once used a 57 year old Gilles Meloche as a practice goaltender and found that his reflexes at 58 were faster than Marc-Andre Fleury's are at 24.
In the November 16, 2007 issue of the Hockey News, Steve Yzerman said........
"Goaltenders were far superior when I broke into the league (1983), they actually had to move, and they made us work for our points, today's goaltenders have so much equipment on they just stand there and let the puck hit them. It took some of the fun out of the game for me. Corrado Micalef had better moves than 80% of today's goaltenders - I would imagine if I put the pads on today's NHL I could get 5 shutouts without moving a muscle too"
Retired NHL scout (30+ years)