This season Kelly will write about topics that come from your requests.The idea is for you to send an e-mail
with a suggeston and Kelly will use that as the basis of his next column. Here's this week's example."My son and I have been having this ongoing debate for years. He is too young to have watched Bobby Orr but has seen videos of him. The question is if you were to have a game between five Wayne Gretzkys on one team and five Bobby Orrs on the other (in their prime of course), given that the goaltending was the same, which team would win?
I say the Bobby Orrs, but my son, based on Wayne Gretzky's statistics says he would win. As a hockey expert, what is your opinion? I might add that I think Bobby Orr was the best hockey player to ever lace on a pair of skates."
From: Martin Kochberg
This is question I've been asked before Martin and I'm not sure my answer will help you or your son very much.
The first few thoughts I have will probably cloud the issue even more. Let's say one of them had the puck, how would the other guy get the puck back? Gretzky and Orr rarely ever gave the puck away.
Would they score every shift? Would it depend on who won the face-off after each goal? Does that mean Gretzky would have the advantage because he's better on face-offs since he's a natural centre? Would Orr win because as a defenceman he's the better backward skater which is crucial when defending?
I don't know those answers but I will give you my thoughts about their individual talents and you and your son can continue the debate.
Like your son, I never had an opportunity to see Bobby Orr live, only on television which I'm sure didn't quite show how great he was as an all around player.
One anecdote I can share that may sway you in Orr's favour is from my former teammate Denis Potvin. We were bussing back to Long Island after a game in Manhattan, I and a couple of the younger guys on the New York Islanders were asking Denis tons of questions about his career.
After player with Denis I was always of the opinion that there wasn't a defenceman I've ever seen in my life that could dominate a game in the way that Denis did. Having said that, during our discussion Potvin stated that he never stepped onto the ice with or against a better player than Bobby Orr.
Conversely, I was lucky enough to have played with Wayne Gretzky for a number of years in Los Angeles and he was miles ahead of anyone I ever played with or against.
I think I share this trait with many goalies Gretzky played with. Nobody scored on me as easily as Wayne in practice. Even with all the knowledge I had from trying to stop him on a daily basis, there was something unique in his release that I could rarely figure out where his shot was headed.
Gretzky was the master because he had the ability to make all of his teammates dangerous, which is a quality very few players in the history of the game have ever displayed.
I hope I helped you and your son Martin, good luck with the debate.If you would like Kelly to write about your topic, please send him an e-mail.
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