Happy birthday Wayne! Unfortunately now I have to kill you. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic (not to mention illegal). I don’t mean kill you now, I mean make it so you never existed. Today is the Great One’s birthday, and while everyone else will be listing his accolades, I thought I would take a different approach. That approach is simple, what if the Great One never existed? What if on that fateful night 51 years ago Wayne’s parents decided to just go to sleep.
Who would hold some of Gretzky’s records?
Who would have more hardware on their mantle?
What players may be looked upon differently?
I want to make something perfectly clear, this is not a blog speculating what would happen if Gretzky never existed, this is looking at stats. For example, we will not talk about whether or not expansion would have still occurred in the United States because we just don’t know for sure. We also won’t talk about someone like Jari Kurri, who finished second to Gretzky in the scoring race twice in his career. Gretzky had a hand in many of his points (he assisted on 60 percent of his career goals) , so there is no definitive way of telling if Kurri would done better or worse without Gretzky’s help. Therefore I’m going to omit anyone who played with Wayne during the time of any of the facts.
If Wayne Gretzky never existed…Marcel Dionne, Mike Liut, Pete Peeters, Rod Langway, Dale Hawerchuk and Raymond Bourque would have all won their first and only Hart Trophy
You may want to go back and read that crazy list again. All of them finished 2nd to Gretzky in MVP voting at one point in their careers. They all had great seasons, but were never able to match Wayne Gretzky’s never before seen stats. Mike Liut…seriously?
If Wayne Gretzky never existed…Mike Bossy, Peter Stastny, Mark Messier, Brett Hull and Sergei Fedorov would have all lead the NHL in scoring once in their careers.
Talk about wrong place wrong time. In the seasons those players finished second to Wayne, they averaged a 130 points. That total is good enough to win the last 14 Art Ross trophies!
If Wayne Gretzky never existed…Mario Lemieux would own 25 more NHL records
Mario was the first player to challenge (and eventually overtake) Gretzky’s hold as the game’s greatest player. But there were 25 records that he just couldn’t touch including assists and points in a season. Mario’s 50 goals in 46 games, and 46 game point streak would have also been records.
If Wayne Gretzky never existed…Peter Stastny would have been the highest scoring player of the 80’s
This is a stat that makes most people reply with “Really?? Actually…that makes sense”. Stastny may have played on the Nordiques, but he put up monster numbers during the high flying decade. Unfortunately, they were nothing compared to Gretzky’s.
If Wayne Gretzky never existed…Gordie Howe would STILL be the NHL’s all time goal king
Mr Hockey scored his 801st NHL goal on April 9th, 1980 and only Gretzky scored more. That means Howe’s record would have been 31 years, 9 months, 17 days old today and counting.
If Wayne Gretzky never existed…The record for most goals in a season would belong to Brett Hull
The Golden Brett scored an insane 86 goals in 1990-91, but that finished second to TWO Gretzky seasons (92 goals in 81-82, and 87 goals in 83-84)
If Wayne Gretzky never existed…The Record for most assists in a game would belong solely to Billy Taylor
Both Gretzky and Taylor had a 7 assist game (Gretzky did it three times). Taylor only had 87 assists in his entire career.
If Wayne Gretzky never existed…the 200 point season would still never have been achieved
Gretzky is still the only player to crack that plateau (by the way, he did it 4 times) . Mario Lemieux came close….really close….he had 199 points in 88-89.
If Wayne Gretzky never existed…Claude Lemieux would hold the record for most Game Winning Goals in the Playoffs
Thank you for being born Wayne
Let’s head to the links
Once the All Star break is over, there are plenty of stories to keep your eyes on. Pro Hockey Talk has 10 of them
Speaking of the All Star game, the draft is tonight. Get some drinks and play Dirty Dangle’s drinking game
Antero Niittymaki waved by the Sharks, and found out through the media (Puck Daddy)
Pamela Anderson + Jannik Hansen= funny reaction (Pass it to Bulis)
If this movie existed, I would go see it (Days of Y’Orr)
A lot of people still talking about Alexander Ovechkin’s decision to skip the All Star game (Washington Post)
Has the era of “get anything we want through the internet and cable packages” ruined the All Star game?? (the Pens Blog)
Will the Devils ever host the ASG? (In Lou We Trust)
I just found out this site existed yesterday and between bouts of laughter, i felt bad for Scotty Gomez (didgomezscore.com)
And only one game last night..and as a Red Wing fan I have to admit…it stung!