Who is the best of the best?
With the Edmonton Oilers coming to town, a question came up today in the post-practice media scrum with Terry Murray about whether today’s younger players understand the level of success the Oilers had in the 1980s. Murray said he thought they did, particularly players who come up through Edmonton, and as part of that, Murray pointed out the accomplishments of Wayne Gretzky, whom he noted as “one of the best players in history.’’ That led to another question: who else would Murray put in that category. For that matter, who would you put in that category?
MURRAY: “Mario Lemieux was a great player. He was probably the best 1-on-1 player in the history of the game. And I saw him a lot, playing him seven times a year in Washington. He was phenomenal in his skill, his size, his speed. Bobby Orr, I played against him and saw him play. He might be the greatest of all time, because he changed the game so much. He was the first guy who, from the back end, had the puck. To lead the league in scoring, as a defenseman, that’s incredible what he did, for his team and to change the attitude of our game, to what it is today. He led the way. But there’s no question that Wayne Gretzky is phenomenal, incredible, the way he played. There are records in place that will never be broken, ever. He’s an amazing player.’’