I made a comment about how Yzerman got 155 that year despite playing with relatively lesser linemates. I'm not taking anything away from Gerard Gallant as I love that dude but Paul MacLean crapped the bed in the 2nd half of that 88-89 season. I went on to explain how I thought Yzerman could have had a lot more points if he ever had a better winger or dman to work with.
So some clown comes on there saying how the fact that Stevie got 150+ points that year was no big deal because 3 other players did it that year too and that Yzerman is no better than #48 on his all time, best offensive players list.
I argued that there were 4 players that reached the 150 point plateau that season but that two of them were named Gretzky and Lemieux and the 3rd guy (Bernie Nichols) played with Wayne and got a bucket full of PP points playing with the Great One.
I then also argued that Esposito had some unbeleivable teammates the year he hit 152 pts and compared them to Yzermans. Gerard Gallant was the closest to Stevie that year with 93 points while Esposito had 3 teammates record over 100 points including one of the greatest players of all time, Bobby Orr (139 pts).
I still can't believe how some people refuse to give Stevie credit for what he was in his prime. Even that year he dislocated a vertabrae in his spine he was able to come back and nearly score 90 points in only 58 games. John Warton said that his back was so bad and he was in so much pain that he literally could barely hold his arms above his head and yet the dude went out and scored at a 112 pt pace.
This idiot at HF even had the audacity to say that Stan Makita was a better offensive player than Yzerman. What a joke! Makita was a very good player but he had Bobby Hull on his wing for most of his career. Yzerman never had a top guy playing with him like some players such as Lafontaine (Mogilny), Hull (Oates), Oates (Hull, Neely), Messier (Kurri), Esposito (Orr, Bucyk), etc.
Only Sakic and Jagr are players I would say are comparable to Yzermans' offensive skills during his prime.
I still wonder how many points or how effective Yzerman would be today if he never bashed his knee or wrecked his back. That knee and back injury was a total fluke, not some degenerative, oft injured thing like Lindros has. Even in his last season you could see that Stevie had the same vision and hands back in the day. If he had stayed healthy I have no doubt he'd still be playing today and could put up the same type of numbers that Sakic is now given the same amount of TOI and wingers.
EDIT: Sorry for the long rant, but I'm pretty fired up about it. I had the pleasure to watch Yzerman in his prime while other great players like Wayne, Mario, Sakic and Messier (among others) were in their primes, or close to it too, played. I think I'm right about YZerman's offensive skills during that time. And I know some older guys that had the privaledge of watching greats like Beleveau, Orr, Esposito, Statsny, Bobby Hull who have said that Yzerman is one of the greatest ever. Heck, Pavel Bure once said that Yzerman and Lemiuex were the two greatest hockey players he's ever seen. And that was during the same time when Hull, Messier, Sakic, Lafontaine were in their primes as well.
Edited by Hank, 19 March 2007 - 03:38 PM.