- curtisports2Lv 72 months agoFavorite Answer
Gordie Howe was the most complete player of all time. Between the NHL and WHA, in regular season and playoff games, Grtezky scored 1 more goal, 1,072 to 1,072. Howe played his first 21 seasons (98% or more never get to 20 and Howe played 11 more seasons after that) when a season was just 70 games, and he played against the cream of the crop in the Original Six era when scoring was tough and checking was tight. Guys who went on to have good late careers in the expanded NHL (and WHA) couldn't land a job in the pre-expansion league. Of those 21 seasons, he played in 69 or 70 games 15 times, and 4 of the other 6 he played in 60 or more. Those were his prime years. Had those been 80 game schedules, he might still hold #1 in all-time NHL regular season goals.
At age 40 (he turned 41 late in the season) he put up 44/59/103 playing in all 76 games for Detroit, and his final two years there, went 54/69/123 in 139 games.
Then he retired.
Then after two years off, at age 45, he un-retired to play with his sons in the WHA. Over the next six seasons and 419 regular season games, he scored 174/334/538. In 78 playoff games - a full extra season - he went 28/43/71.
That last season of '78-79, which ended when he was 51 years old, he scored 19/24/43 in 58 games. Gretzky started his professional career that year in the WHA and went 46/64/110 in all 80 games. But Gretzky was 18 years old.
Gretzky would dominate the 1980s when the game was very different than the game Howe played for 20+ seasons. 7-5 scores were common. All through the '50s and up to expansion, 2-1 and 3-2 games were common. In the 1981-82 season, Gretzky's biggest scoring year, the league scoring average was 4.01 goals scored vs 3.95 goals allowed. Howe's best scoring season of 1952-53 saw the averages at 2.40 vs 2.37.
Howe would pay one more season in the NHL, 1979-80, after the WHA folded, and at age 51/52, he played in ALL 80 FREAKING GAMES and scored 15/26/41 with a goal and assist in three playoff games.
Gretzky changed the game, as did Orr before him, as did Howe before both of them. The prototypical goal scorer in the NHL was a smaller man, who could skate with speed and avoid the hits. Howe combined size and strength with speed and would plow through defenders. He essentially created the position of power forward and scouts began looking for youngsters with size and speed.
And, both Gretzky and Orr say Howe was the best ever. Maybe I should have opened up with that.
- Anonymous3 weeks ago
Curtis should learn how to spell Gretzky ,and check his math: 1072 is the same as 1072.
- Mike WLv 72 months ago
Dave Keon. He doesn't have all the individual stats, but he was an incredibly complete player, being strong on both offense and defense, he did whatever the team needed. In addition, he was a well disciplined player who rarely went to the penalty box.
- 2 months ago
Wayne Gretzky is the greatest forward, Bobby Orr the greatest defenceman.
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- MysteryGuyLv 52 months ago
As a life long hockey fan I have come to the realisation that I am the greatest hockey player of all time
- Anonymous2 months ago