This is good stuff! Rusty, I agree 100% that nobody will break Gretzky's records in our lifetime. He was a machine out there. But he was so much a liability on defense that he is not close to the +- record, set by Bobby Orr in the first year they instituted the system. Actually, in the top 4, 3 are defensemen. Orr at +124, Larry Robinson at +120, Gretzky at +100, and Dallas Smith (Orr's defense partner) at +98. Fascinating, huh?
So if you could take anyone (any era) to be on your team, 99% would jump on Gretzky because people love offense. But if you want the one player that will contribute to winning the most, it's Bobby Orr, man, sorry to tell you 🙂
Tell you another thing that Orr did that Gretzky would NEVER do,, kill penalties! And that did not figure into the +- system.
Bobby Orr,,,, 'Ta best!
PS: Funny story for ya. A buddy met Gretzky at a casino in Las Vegas. He went up to Gretzky and said something like, "Hi Wayne, I always wanted to meet the second best player of all time!". Gretzky smiled and said, "You're from Boston, aren't you" LOL love it