As a person who BECAME a Gretzky fan because of the 1993 playoffs (still shocked when I see that was Lidstrom on ice for the GWG against) and eliminating TO to get to the Finals, I can tell you that:
No way in HELL was Gretzky anywhere near Yzerman in defense - ever.
No way does Gretzky do what Stevie Y does in 97 and especially 98
And we STILL had Yzerman do some great things in the 2002 playoffs.
Now if we got Gretzky for Gallant and some OTHER picks, we have something, but Yzerman? No effing way.
What did Yzerman do in those playoffs that Gretzky couldn't have done? Wayne was still more than a point per game player those years, despite being older than Yzerman.
If you're talking about leadership, then Gretzky was an underrated leader. In his prime, he worked harder than anyone else to get to loose pucks and he didn't take nights off. You don't score that many points and take nights off. When I think of a leader, I think of a guy that works hard and doesn't take nights off. Gretzky fits the bill. Late in his career, Wayne was still scoring a bunch, but his teams weren't good enough to make any noise.
Defensively, Yzerman was better, but the Wings had no lack of defensive forwards then. Gretzky's job was never to be a shut down center.
LOL at Gretzky being traded for Gallant and some picks. Pocklington would have been forced to commit harakiri if he made that trade.
I'm actually really surprised about the people that would have been willing to trade Yzerman for Gretzky. I wouldn't have even considered trading them straight up, let alone the other pieces that would have had to be involved to get that deal done. Yzerman was my favorite player back then and the sole reason I am a Red Wings fan today. To be quite honest, if Yzerman would have been traded back then, I would probably be an Oilers fan today... Scary...
I'm definitely glad that Holland and Jimmy D are much more loyal to this team and players than most fans would be...
How many people would trade Zetterberg and pieces to Pittsburgh for Crosby? I know there are definitely quite a few that would but I definitely would not. Hank is our captain and I wouldn't want to lose him, even if it meant getting the best player in the world for him. Even knowing that Zetterberg may only have another 5 solid years left and Crosby has another 15, I still wouldn't do it. Crazy? Probably, but that's my opinion...
Yzerman hadn't reached God status in Detroit yet in 1988. Most Wings fans would have made that trade in a heartbeat considering what Wayne was doing during the 1980's. I don't think anyone would have rioted.
I hate Crosby, but I root for the Wings, not one particular player. If Detroit made that trade, I'd have to root for Crosby.
I'll take a somewhat injured Yzerman over a retired Gretzky easily for 2002.
Also, in 97-98 Yzerman was scoring almost as much as Gretzky but also provided world class defense. I don't see at all how an old Gretzky in his final 2 seasons as a player makes us "WAY" better than Yzerman in his 2-way prime.
In fact, it is not even possible to do any better than back to back cups in a two year stretch.
It's hard to predict what would and wouldn't have happened. What kind of free agents, trades, etc the Wings would have made with Gretzky.
It is possible, that Detroit would have won some Cups in the early to mid 90's with Gretzky on the team. You don't know.
Edited by GMRwings1983, 13 August 2014 - 01:03 PM.
According to my profile, my reputation is excellent. LOL.