I don't remember who it was, but of the league tough guys was interviewed and asked why no one hits Gretzky. This was when TGO was with the Rangers. His answer was: Would you want to be remembered for ending Gretzky's career?
you're right that gretz was good at avoiding hits, but Dave Semenko was one of the top feared guys in the league at that time. It was like having Twist out there. I don't remember Demitra ever getting run while Twist was out there.
But there were plenty of other guys on those Oiler teams that would fight too and the Whinyer basically got to ice dance around his whole career. I saw him play many times and NOBODY took runs at him. I don't think that would happen nowadays. I think people would be looking to take him out.
I just don't think Gretz could have avoided all the physical stuff like he used to. Add in the fact that everybody wears a shield now and well, WHY NOT pummel Gretzky? All you gotta do is turtle if a goon comes after you.
This sums up Gretzky's career:
IMMEDIATE retaliation for knocking Gretz on his ass. No questions asked: you hit Gretzky, you're going to answer to somebody, period.
And with that flimsy helmet he wore, he'd be jellobrained in a few seasons in today's NHL.
I get what you're trying to say but I think that video is a pretty poor example. That "retaliation" is really nothing more than what players do today. That was "immediate jostling" at best. You're making it sound like a NYR player came at the Canuck guy with his gloves off throwing punches.
And how do you know a fight didn't happen after the clip ended? In the old days it WOULD have been gloves off immediately.
Now it's "OMFG DON'T TAKE A PENALTY OR YOU MAY GET BENCHED!!!!!! OMFG OMFGOFFLES!!!!!!!! NO!!!!!" PUSSY bullshit.
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