NHL on TSN Quiz: What is the ultimate measure of Gretzky?

TSN.ca Staff
1/26/2011 10:33:23 PM
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Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices their opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz. As a follow-up, TSN.ca offers you the opportunity to chime in on all the big issues with our insiders. Read up on all the questions and answers from TSN's hockey experts, and put in your own two cents on our popular Your Call feature.

Question No. 1: What is the ultimate measure of Wayne Gretzky?

Craig MacTavish: 60 NHL records. Incredible skill manifested in 60 NHL records. The most spectacular in my mind was 50 goals in 39 games, where he gets five against the Flyers to get to 50, four against Pete Peeters and one in the empty net.

Bob McKenzie: 2,857 points. Although it's not so much the points as just the assists. When you look at it he has 1,963 assists, the next closest guy in total points is Mark Messier with 1,887 points. Gretzky has more assists than any player in the history of the game has points. That tells you what you need to know right there.

Mike Johnson: 60 NHL records. I think that just encapsulates everything he did. All the goals, all the points, all the awards, it all comes together with 60 NHL records. That's such a huge number on the record book.

Question No. 2: Which is the worst decision ever made regarding Gretzky?

Bob McKenzie: Mark Crawford not picking him in the 1998 Olympic shootout. The Oilers won a Stanley Cup after they traded Gretzky, but Gretzky sitting on the bench in Nagano still boggles the mind.

Mike Johnson: Kerry Fraser not calling penalty on him in Game 6 of 1993 semifinal against Toronto. I'm going to go back to when I was 19-years-old and a Maple Leafs' fan. Fraser missed the call that could have set up a Toronto-Montreal Stanley Cup for the ages. It gave Gretzky one more chance at Game 7 and everyone knows what he did when he had that opportunity in Toronto in Game 7.

Craig MacTavish: Nelson Skalbania. He had the wherewithal to sign Gretzky as a 17-year-old, kept him in Indianapolis for the total of eight games and then sent him to Edmonton for $700,000.

Question No. 3: What piece of equipment do you most associate with #99?

Mike Johnson: Tucked-in sweater. For all the kids in my generation it was easy to do. You didn't need white gloves, you didn't need a fancy helmet. You tucked in your jersey and you skated around and pretended you were Wayne Gretzky.

Bob McKenzie: Tucked-in sweater. Kids weren't allowed to wear the Jofa helmet in minor hockey because it wasn't regulation, so the best you could do to imitate #99 was to put the jersey into the pants.

Craig MacTavish: Helmet. For two reasons. One, I never wore one. Two, I have the one he wore his last game with the New York Rangers. Gretzky was so far ahead on this memorabilia thing, at his last game everybody on the New York Rangers got a hockey stick signed and used by Gretzky. Charlie Huddy has Wayne's gloves, I got the helmet.

Question No. 4: What's your best personal Gretzky story?

Bob McKenzie: After Game 5 in the L.A.-Toronto conference final in 1993, I wrote that Wayne was skating like he had a piano on his back. I didn't think he was playing very well. He didn't like that very much. He got the overtime goal in Game 6, the non-call with Kerry Fraser and Doug Gilmour. But Game 7 was the tour-de-force with Gretzky, the greatest single game that he says he ever played in the NHL.

Mike Johnson: Back in 2001, I had just arrived in Phoenix and Wayne Gretzky was the owner not the coach. I was coming off injury and I was going to play on the fifth line of extra guys. I walked into the dressing room for practice and Wayne Gretzky was centering Louis Debrusk and Mike Johnson. I've never been so nervous in my fifth year in the NHL. We do some line rushes, Debrusk takes the puck shoots it on net. We get in the corner and Gretzky says "Hey Lou, can you get the puck." I made a mistake, you're supposed to give it back, get to the net and get in line.

Craig MacTavish: In St. Louis, Mike Keenan walked into the locker room and he asked Wayne, "When's the last time anybody ever criticized you?" He went on to criticize Wayne quite extensively for the next two or three minutes. Then he went on to somebody else. Wayne turned to me and said, "Actually, Janet this morning."

The NHL on TSN panelists have made their selections, now it's your turn on the Your Call feature below!

Wayne Gretzky - Edmonton Oilers (Photo: Steve Babineau/Getty Images)


(Photo: Steve Babineau/Getty Images)
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