Gretzky was way overrated, being called "the best hockey player ever". I watched Gordie How (most of his career), and Rocket Richard (half his career), and Bobby Hull, Mario Lemieux, and Gretzky their whole careers. I'd have taken Howe, Richard. Hull and Lemieux ALL before Gretzky for my team. They were all more complete players than Gretzky. I'm not saying he wasn't a great player. He was. But he wasn't near the best ever. Bobby Orr, at his height, was best. He was more dominant on offence, and also, at the same time, played his defence position. as well.
Gretzky had great ice vision, great hands, great anticipation, a good shot, great set-up man. But, he wasn't near the best forward ever. Orr, Howe, Richard could all take over a game by themselves. Gretzky needed his linemates. He played mainly during an era which had a lot of open ice. He wouldn't have had nearly the same room to operate during other eras. He was able to avoid being hit much and could use his speed and stick-checking to play decent defence. He would have been a lot less effective in other areas (in all zones).
Brad Boyes WAS the most overrated player on The Blues, until most Blues fans started getting down on him after about 30 games this season. Now, maybe Kariya is, during his "resurgence" in the last few games, playing with Oshie. He's still barely a shadow of his old self.
My memory isn't what it used to be, but I remember plenty of times Gretzky took over games by himself. The most recent example when he scored a hat trick in the playoffs for the Rangers in the series against Florida. He also singlehandedly took the Kings to the finals in 1993.
You go back further than I do, but are you sure your opinion of Gretzky isn't tainted somewhat by the fact he didn't re-sign with the Blues? I tend to discount Lemieux's accomplishments because I hated seeing him beat the Rangers so much.
Everyone has an opinion, but outside of this forum there isn't much if any support for the idea that there is a player in the NHL today that is as good as Gretzky, much less several.