• 02/03/2009, 01:10PM ET

Orr vs Gretzky...The Greatest NHL Player Ever...

Resistance is Foos-tile (130-17-4) vs Dragon44 (0-3-0)

In a current TD you said the following...

"granted he was the best of his era and could that boy fly but the numbers speak for themselves...but to belittle what Luc accomplished because he played in a high scoring era is like saying Gretzky was better than Orr..."

I'm calling you out ....

I'm taking Gretzky you've got Orr...

20 Seasons
1487 Regular Season NHL Games Played
894 Career Goals #1 all-time
1963 Assists #1 all-time
2857 Points #1 all-time
40 Career Regular Season NHL records including most Goals in a season (92) and most points in a season (215) and most consecutive point scoring streak (51 games)
15 Career NHL Playoff records including most career points in playoffs (382 points) and most points in 1 playoff year (47 points).

Bobby Orr
9 Full NHL Seasons (plus parts of 3 others)
657 Regular Season NHL games played
270 Goals
645 Assists
915 points


I am not going to say anything to diminish the greatness of the Great One he is what he is.
Every generation sees a special player come along to raise the bar offensively, the rocket scoring 50, then there was Esposito punching in 70 and then along comes Wayne and tops 90...but they all had one thing in common, gifted offensive players, we could also add Lemieux, Yzerman and a wagon full of others but none of them revolutionized their respective positions...
Bobby Orr redefined what a defenseman is, he was a power forward playing defense and he did it all, PP, PK, hit, fight, skate, score, pass and play defense...There will never be another defenseman that will win the scoring title like he did...
I realize he only played 657 games but that was against the other teams checking player playing lumberjack with his knees...without Bobby paving the way there would have been no Coffey, Murphy, Housely and all these puck moving defencemen that are in such a high demand today...
stats aside, and they are insane for Orr, for reinventing the role of a defensman and the new dimension that they can bring, he is the greatest of all time...

"Bobby Orr redefined what a defenseman is"

That's an interesting statement considering that Doug Harvey was Bobby Orr before Bobby Orr was.
Doug Harvey used his passing and skating ability to be the spark plug in the Canadiens scoring machine in the 50's and early 60's. He like Orr had amazing puck control and could dictate the pace of a game by himself.
Harvey DEFINED what a defenseman could be...Orr merely perfected it and took it to the next level.

The argument against Orr is the fact that he only played 9 full NHL seasons. There would be little or no dispute of Orr being #1 if he had a longer career. But since his NHL Hockey career was so short most experts rank him as runner-up to Gretzky.

In 1998 Gretzky and Orr were ranked #1 & #2 by the Hockey News on the "Top 100 NHL Players of All-Time".

Gretzky's #99 has been retired by all NHL teams. Jackie Robinson's #42 is the other athlete to have his number retired by a major pro sports league.

Sure Orr won 3 consecutive Hart Trophies (NHL MVP) from 1969-70, 70-71 & 71-72 (his only 3) but Gretzky won 9 Harts (including 8 in a row from the 79-80 to 86-87 season & then the 88-89 season).

I knew someone was sure to bring up Doug Harvey's name but he did not have Orr's scoring ability or his ability to dictate a game thus my statement of redefining...
the accolades for Gretzky are well deserved, especially after a long storied career, but for Bobby to accomplish what he did in such a short career is remarkable...

I will not get into a "what if" arguement here, that is pointless and it could go on forever...
Wayne's point per game over his career is 1.9 playing with the high-flying Oilers while Bobby's is 1.4 as a defensman...

I remember when the Hockey News did that Top 100 Players, it was for the 75 anniversary of the NHL and it was flawed then as it is now. They had Yzerman ranked 78 so take that list with a grain of salt...

"I remember when the Hockey News did that Top was flawed then as it is now. They had Yzerman ranked 78 so take that list with a grain of salt"

You have more holes in your argument than a box of KRISPY KREMES.

1st off it was published in 98. Yzerman played until 2006 (7 more seasons).
THN is widely considered as the most unbiased & best hockey publication there is. The Top 100 players was voted on by over 20 NHL experts.

If Orr was really the greatest then why did he not win more than 3 Hart Trophies as NHL MVP?
His next 3 seasons (72-73, 73-74 & 74-75) after he won his last Hart (71-72) were just as good if not better.
In 74-75 he set the record for most goals by a DMan (46, broken by Paul Coffey in 85-86 with 48). That year was Orr's & 2nd most productive season ever...yet Bobby Clarke had won it that year.

When Gretzky was traded to the Kings it lead to major expansion in the NHL, including 2 more francises in Califorina. His impact was far greater than just on the ice.

Orr was the dominant player in the game for a short period of time in the 70's but Gretzky was the most dominant player in the game ever period.

Hence the nickname 'The Great One'.

what the h e double hockey sticks are Krispy Kremes?...

there was 23 experts to be exact and the vote was pretty much even between Orr and Gretzky 12-11 I for your arguement against Yzerman, the poodle (Jagr), was voted in at 37 and he is still playing...

when Gretzky was traded he became more than just a player he became an ambassador for the game and made hockey sexy in California. His impact in this case was more commercial and had no bearing as a hockey player. If he remained in Edmonton do you think for a moment that his jersey would have been retired by the league?

granted Coffey did break Orr's record for goals by a d-man but Orr paved the way and made coaches realize the difference a puck moving-goal scoring defenseman can have in a game.

Besides the Stanley Cup, captured the Norris Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, Hart Trophy, and Conn Smythe Trophy in 1970, the only player in history to win four major NHL awards in one season

Awarded the James Norris Trophy in 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975

Won the Art Ross Trophy in 1969???70 and 1974???75, the only defenceman to ever lead the league in scoring

won the Hart 1970 71 & 72


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