Originally Posted by 24champbailey
In terms of pure sheer talent, sure Mario was number one. HOWEVER when it comes to the mental aspect of the game, Wayne was the best ever. I don't think we will ever see a Wayne Gretzky again. I mean the guy KNEW what was going to happen 2-3 plays down the line, that's pretty much unheard of around hockey. Nobody will have Gretzky's hockey sense, not even Mario and it shows on the stat sheet. I'm sorry that Mario couldn't play to his full ability because of back problems and cancer but the fact he didn't play as much shouldn't take away anything from Gretzky. That's like me saying Terrell Davis is better than Jim Brown or Walter Payton because he didn't play as much games. Let's get another thing straight, just because Wayne played for the Oilers shouldn't be less of an achievement either. Let's use Terrell Davis as an example again, should his accomplishment of what he did in the Super Bowl years be less of an accomplishment because he played on a great offensive line? In my opinion NO but according to your logic on Wayne being with the Oilers it should.
We have had this argument numerous times, but I will respond to these points you made.
I agree with you that Wayne was No. 1 in terms of the mental game. Mario was great at that too, I mean after all, he made 50 goal scorers out of Robbie Brown and Warren Young (who later went to Detroit and was a complete nobody), but I do not dispute that Wayne was the best at the mental game. I am glad that you agree that Mario was the finest hockey talent ever.
I believe your analogy with TD and our OL is inapposite. You said should his accomplishments during the SB years be less due to the great OL? It is not so much that it degrades TD, because TD was great with or without the line, but they certainly enhanced his game, no question there. He was still, without question, a truly elite player, with or without the line, but likewise, he was undoubtedly an even greater player with the line. The same would be true with Wayne...no one is saying he is a scrub, or just a really good player, he was a great, great player who was a generational talent, but you cannot say that the Oilers didn't help him reach those amazing highs in points during the 80s. He got past the 200 pt. plateau a few times, if he was on an average team (like say..the Penguins of the 80s), there is no doubt he still would have been a huge beast, but not the type of beast that he was on the Oilers. Lemieux never had this type of supporting cast...with the exception of possibly the 1993 Penguins (even that great team was not of the caliber of the 80s Oilers), and not surprisingly that year, despite missing several games due to and becoming weakened because of radiation therapy, he scored 160 points in only 60 games!!
We have discussed this issue for hours already on IM, there is no way we will ever agree on this, dude. I think the most we have agreed on so far is about as best as we will ever get too: Mario had more sheer talent than anyone that ever played, Wayne had the best hockey sense/mental game than anyone who ever played.