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What Might Have Been: Gretzky to Detroit?


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#21 BottleOfSmoke

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:14 PM

 
Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the nostalgia of Yzerman.  But you've also got to remember that when the Gretzky trade went down Steve Yzerman wasn't "The Captain" Stevie Y.  He was a fifth year one dimensional player who many thought couldn't get the team over the hump.  The things you remember him for so fondly wouldn't even happen for another few years.  All that leadership and two way selflessness?  Wasn't even a thought at the time of that trade. 


I get it, and if you would have asked an adult me to make that trade back then my answer might have been different.

Then again, Stevie was way cuter than Gretzky, so maybe adult 80's me would have still declined the trade :lol:

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#22 shoe

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:15 PM

To Detroit:

-C Wayne Gretzky

-D/W Marty McSorley

-C Mike Krushelnyski

 

 

 

Marty and Probert on the same team? Wow! Then again my favourite Probert fights were with McSorley.



#23 GMRwings1983

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:46 PM

 

Marty and Probert on the same team? Wow! Then again my favourite Probert fights were with McSorley.

 

And Kocur.  What a lineup that would have been.  


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#24 gcom007

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:05 PM

That is truly a crazy thought, though I still would never give up Yzerman for him. He may not be the Great One, but he is The Captain of the Detroit Red Wings. I get how it could've been seen differently at that point in history though, hard as it is to imagine.

 

I was always a little surprised we didn't end up getting a year or two of Gretzky during his later years in some ways. He always seemed to be a Detroit fan from what I recall, and I believe he was a huge Tigers fan even growing up. Given how often we started bringing in hall of famers for their swan songs in those days, you'd have to think that if Gretzky was a bit younger or played a few more years, we probably would've made a run for him.

 

Can you imagine that 2002 team with Gretzky as well, just from the sheer standpoint of looking at all the names on that roster???


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#25 joshy207

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 12:35 AM

That is truly a crazy thought, though I still would never give up Yzerman for him. He may not be the Great One, but he is The Captain of the Detroit Red Wings. I get how it could've been seen differently at that point in history though, hard as it is to imagine.

 

I was always a little surprised we didn't end up getting a year or two of Gretzky during his later years in some ways. He always seemed to be a Detroit fan from what I recall, and I believe he was a huge Tigers fan even growing up. Given how often we started bringing in hall of famers for their swan songs in those days, you'd have to think that if Gretzky was a bit younger or played a few more years, we probably would've made a run for him.

 

Can you imagine that 2002 team with Gretzky as well, just from the sheer standpoint of looking at all the names on that roster???

 

Yzerman wasn't "The Captain" in 1988, and Gretzky most likely would have been retired (or traded away) by 2002.



#26 Z Winged Dangler

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 12:54 PM

I vaguely remember reading/hearing that Gretzky was looking to come to Detroit, but his wife absolutely hated the idea of coming here, so she pretty much eliminated that possibility.  I might just be making this up, though, but if anyone else knows more about this, I'd love to hear the whole story.

Not only that, but I remember reading that Wayne talked to his dad Walter and they decided that LA would be a tougher place to win and if he went to the Wings he'd get easy Cups with the core that was already there.  Paulina I believe was from LA prior as well.


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#27 gcom007

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:03 PM

 

Yzerman wasn't "The Captain" in 1988, and Gretzky most likely would have been retired (or traded away) by 2002.

 

Hence why I said, "I get how it could've been seen differently at that point in history though, hard as it is to imagine."


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#28 wings4thecup06

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:16 PM

 

Yzerman wasn't "The Captain" in 1988, and Gretzky most likely would have been retired (or traded away) by 2002.

 

Sorry what? Stevie Y became captain in 1986…..


temp 1

 


#29 kipwinger

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:24 PM

 

Sorry what? Stevie Y became captain in 1986…..

 

He's not speaking literally, he's speaking figuratively.  When people nostalgically look back at Yzerman, they remember him how he was in the Bowman years and rarely remember the early part of his career.  He wasn't a selfless, gutsy, two way, leader back then.  He was a showy, one dimensional, goal scorer.  At the time of the Gretzky trade, Yzerman wasn't the Stevie Y that we all remember as "The Captain", though he was in fact the captain of the team. 

 

That's what he's saying.


GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

"Some girls are 17 even though they look 25."

 

 


#30 wings4thecup06

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:32 PM

 

He's not speaking literally, he's speaking figuratively.  When people nostalgically look back at Yzerman, they remember him how he was in the Bowman years and rarely remember the early part of his career.  He wasn't a selfless, gutsy, two way, leader back then.  He was a showy, one dimensional, goal scorer.  At the time of the Gretzky trade, Yzerman wasn't the Stevie Y that we all remember as "The Captain", though he was in fact the captain of the team. 

 

That's what he's saying.

 

Ah. Gotcha. I stand corrected. 


temp 1

 


#31 Zion

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:33 PM

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.


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#32 rick zombo

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:38 PM

I really don’t want this to be a Gretzky vs Yzerman debate. I mostly believe if 99 had have come here in 88, we still would have kept Stevie.

 

But imagine if Gretzky became a Wing and Yzerman went to Edmonton ……..

 

(0:12)

 


Edited by rick zombo, 12 August 2014 - 11:41 PM.

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#33 hooon

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 11:40 AM

 

Don't get me wrong, I love Yzerman as much as the next guy.  But I don't even think twice about that trade.  You take the same teams as we had in 97, 98, and 2002 and swap Yzerman for Gretzky and we're WAY better. 

 

 

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.


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#34 kipwinger

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:13 PM

 

 

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.

 

Because Gretzky was putting up more points on significantly worse teams.  At every single stage of their respective careers Wayne Gretzky was a superior player.  I know that it's become fashionable over the years to downplay just how good this guy was, but the truth is, he's not universally considered the greatest hockey player in the history of the game because he was actually worse than Steve Yzerman. 

 

Again, this is just a case of hometown nostalgia.  As I've already said, it's like saying you wouldn't trade Ray Bourque for Bobby Orr (I know, same team) just because Bourque was really good too. 

 

Given their respective careers up to that point, you'd be a complete and total fool to not trade Yzerman for Gretzky in 1988. 


GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

"Some girls are 17 even though they look 25."

 

 


#35 krsmith17

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:45 PM

No one is saying that Gretzky wasn't a better hockey player than Yzerman. Everyone knows that Gretzky was the best player ever to lace up a pair of skates. There is no argument there. So yes, it absolutely comes down to hometown nostalgia. Is that wrong? I don't think so at all. That is why myself as well as a lot of other die hards would never hack it as an NHL GM. Unless of course, I took over as general manager of the Panthers or Hurricanes or whatever other s*** team that I have no emotional connection to. I would turn them into contenders within a year... ;)

 

Yzerman is my favorite hockey player ever, so no I would not have made that trade in 1988, nor would I be regretting my decision today. I think things worked out quite well with "The Captain".

 

It just blows my mind that people would actually go back and make that trade. It also blows my mind when people say they would trade away guys we drafted 15+ years ago like Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Why? Because they're slowing down and going to retire in a few years? So what? Let them retire as Red Wings! These same people would have probably traded Lidstrom away a few years ago too.

 

I guess I follow all these players from being drafted, right through their careers so I get attached and I would never want to see some of them get traded. Sentimental Idiot...



#36 Son of a Wing

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:53 PM

 

Because Gretzky was putting up more points on significantly worse teams.  At every single stage of their respective careers Wayne Gretzky was a superior player.  I know that it's become fashionable over the years to downplay just how good this guy was, but the truth is, he's not universally considered the greatest hockey player in the history of the game because he was actually worse than Steve Yzerman. 

 

Again, this is just a case of hometown nostalgia.  As I've already said, it's like saying you wouldn't trade Ray Bourque for Bobby Orr (I know, same team) just because Bourque was really good too. 

 

Given their respective careers up to that point, you'd be a complete and total fool to not trade Yzerman for Gretzky in 1988. 

 

You're twisting his words. I think Hoon had a very valid point.

 

He refuted your statement..

 

 

"You take the same teams as we had in 97, 98, and 2002 and swap Yzerman for Gretzky and we're WAY better."

 

...by addressing the fact that Gretzky was nearing retirement for 97/98 and actually in retirement for 2002 and in comparison, Yzerman was in his 2-way prime.

 

A very valid point.


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#37 GMRwings1983

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 01:04 PM

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... :shocking:

 

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.

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#38 Son of a Wing

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 01:20 PM

 

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.  

 

Well of course we don't know and that's possible...that's why people are speculating... but that's not even what Hoon was talking about...

 

He was addressing the effect that trade would have on the cup winning teams(97,98,02) and how it might not be as positive as some stated...which is a legitimate concern for those years.

 

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills...


"The leader must never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert."
Vince Lombardi
 
When asked who won, Babcock said, “Well it doesn’t really matter as long as you don’t lose. It’s like going bear hunting, you take a slow guy with you in case the bear is hungry.”

#39 kipwinger

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 01:34 PM

 

Well of course we don't know and that's possible...that's why people are speculating... but that's not even what Hoon was talking about...

 

He was addressing the effect that trade would have on the cup winning teams(97,98,02) and how it might not be as positive as some stated...which is a legitimate concern for those years.

 

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills...

 

No, I get your point (and Hoon's).  My position is that you'd be nuts not to make the trade in 1988.  And when you did, you'd still have had a better team in 1997 and 1998 to win the Cup...if not some sooner. 

 

Those teams didn't win back to back years because of Steve Yzerman's defense.  They won because they were the best team assembled since the 1991 and 1992 Pens.  Gretzky's defensive shortcomings (which are overblown) would have been more than made up for by the fact that he was (even as an old man) a MUCH better offensive player than Yzerman, and would have only been more so if put on a dynasty team with the likes of Shanny, Fedorov, Larionov, Lidstrom, Konstantinov, etc. etc. etc. 

 

I guess my main point is that when you look at their respective stats, it looks like Stevie wasn't all that far behind Gretzky in 97 and 98.  But that's because everybody on those Detroit teams had MASSIVELY inflated numbers because of just how good the team was.  Put Gretzky on those teams and instead of 97 and 90 pts. he probably has 125-130 both years.  Sure Stevie played better defense, but who cares?  We had some of the best defensive teams in the history of the game with or without Yzerman's defense. 


GMRwings:  "Well, in other civilized countries, 16 years old isn't considered underage.  For instance, I believe the age of consent is 16 in Canada.  There's some US states where it's 16 as well.  

 

Get off the high horse.  Not like she was 10."

 

"Some girls are 17 even though they look 25."

 

 


#40 Son of a Wing

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 01:44 PM

 

No, I get your point (and Hoon's).  My position is that you'd be nuts not to make the trade in 1988.  And when you did, you'd still have had a better team in 1997 and 1998 to win the Cup...if not some sooner. 

 

Those teams didn't win back to back years because of Steve Yzerman's defense.  They won because they were the best team assembled since the 1991 and 1992 Pens.  Gretzky's defensive shortcomings (which are overblown) would have been more than made up for by the fact that he was (even as an old man) a MUCH better offensive player than Yzerman, and would have only been more so if put on a dynasty team with the likes of Shanny, Fedorov, Larionov, Lidstrom, Konstantinov, etc. etc. etc. 

 

I guess my main point is that when you look at their respective stats, it looks like Stevie wasn't all that far behind Gretzky in 97 and 98.  But that's because everybody on those Detroit teams had MASSIVELY inflated numbers because of just how good the team was.  Put Gretzky on those teams and instead of 97 and 90 pts. he probably has 125-130 both years.  Sure Stevie played better defense, but who cares?  We had some of the best defensive teams in the history of the game with or without Yzerman's defense. 

 

But you said it yourself.. Those teams are stacked offensively.  So much that they inflate numbers considerably. So I don't see how sacrificing defence for MORE offence makes us "WAY" better.


For the record, I do agree with you that mostly anyone would make that trade in '88 and that it would make us a better team leading up to those cups.

 

I just disagree that it would have made the difference that you were implying for those later cup years.


"The leader must never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert."
Vince Lombardi
 
When asked who won, Babcock said, “Well it doesn’t really matter as long as you don’t lose. It’s like going bear hunting, you take a slow guy with you in case the bear is hungry.”





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