Through a career riddled by injuries – including one induced retirement – Lemieux was one of the most dominant forwards the game has ever seen. He temporarily led the NHL in both career Goals Per Game and Points Per Game, despite debuting after Gretzky and despite playing more of his career in the Dead Puck Era.
But Lemieux never reached Gretzky’s accomplishments either in terms of his peak or his longevity. He has fewer scoring titles and Cups than Gretzky, and Gretzky achieved Lemieux’s offensive feats many times over.
Listen to us discuss whether or not Lemieux is the Greatest Hockey Player of All Time, the Greatest Centre of All Time, or something else, here:
Vincent Lecavalier is one of those classic “one great year” cases; he was a dominant player for a season or two but, for much of the rest of his career, he was merely good. Was Lecavalier’s peak good enough for him to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
If consistency is what matters, Denneny was one of the best, if not the best, wingers of the NHL’s first decade and a half. Though only briefly dominant, he played and scored longer than most players. So we wonder where he ranks all time.