Wayne Gretzky thankful he played during the NHL’s wide-open scoring days



Portrait of Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky during a photo shoot on the ice.
Edmonton, Canada 1984

Wayne Gretzky doesn’t think he would have been as great of a hockey player in the 1950s.

He’s not being humble. More like fearful.

Yes, the greatest goal scorer who ever played the game would no doubt have had an easier time putting the puck past goalies who didn’t wear masks and rarely left their feet to make a save. But that’s assuming he could make it up the ice in one piece.

“The (Gordie) Howes and (Maurice) Richards typically had to fight for themselves,” Gretzky said in a phone interview. “That was the game back then. When you’re 150 pounds, that would have been more difficult for me. I’m always the first guy to sit here and say I came around at the right time. It was a different game.”

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