Reliving the glory of the dynasty oilers with Gretzky is all we oilers fans can do in present time until the oilers are competitive once again. There is a glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel now with Connor McDavid in oil town and comparisons being made to Gretzky. While those may be lofty comparisons to the great one, it does give us hope. rnrnGretzky was the great one but he did have help. I thought I'd attempt to see what a modern day re-creation of the Gretzky dynasty era forward lines would look like.
Centre - Wayne Gretzky. The Great One. Gretzky was the greatest hockey player to play the game. He was known for having great vision on the ice, reading plays ahead of time. What is dubbed these days as hockey IQ, he had it in abundance. He was also a great goal scoring sniper and playmaker all in one. They don't make them like him anymore.
Heir apparent - Connor McDavid. The Next One. McDavid is pegged the hopeful saviour of oil country. Like Gretzky he is known for a high hockey IQ, ability to make plays, make those around him better and make opponents look silly. Both able to score and set up others, he is the only candidate heir for this throne.
Left Wing - Esa Tikkanen. Tikkanen was a great compliment to Gretzky. He provided the physical presence, the grit and was sound defensively. He was more of a playmaker than a scorer but was decent in that regard too. Mostly from playing next to the great one. But most of all he was known for being a pest, an agitator, throwing others off their game with his tikkanese (talking smack).
Heir apparent - Milan Lucic. This is of course assuming the rumours of Lucic coming to Edmonton holding true. I can't think of anyone else who would be more befitting of this mantle. Lucic is known to be an in your face, tough opponent. He is not a one trick pony though as he does put up points and holds his own defensively.
Right Wing - Jari Kurri. Kurri was a goal scoring machine that put his stick on the ice and put away almost everything Gretkzy and Tikkanen dished his way. But not only that, he was regarded as a great two way forward.
Heir apparent - Jesse Puljujarvi. Could be the next finnish flash as he is an excellent skater. Like Kurri Puljujarvi is both able to put away pucks and be responsible on the defensive side of things.
Centre - Mark Messier. The moose. Messier was a agressive, tough, strong, imposing player to play against. He was also incredible fast and is second in points in the regular season next to only Gretzky. An all around player who could do everything.
Heir apparent - Leon Draisatl. What is the german equivalent of the Canadian moose? Draisatl has the potential to fill a similar role. The 2nd of a 1-2 punch down the middle with McDavid forever imbedded in the 1C spot. Draisatl has the size and skill to be a similar type of player. He is starting to show his ability to put up points and hopefully continues to do so.
Left Wing - Craig Simpson. Simpson found his groove playing alongside Messier and Anderson. He was effective on the power play and put up goals by pushing his way into the dirty areas.
Heir apparent - Patrick Maroon. Maroon was a pleasant addition mid season for the oilers. Oilers needed a big body, especially one that could park himself in front of the net and not be pushed off. Maroon clicked well with McDavid and could potentially do so as well with Draisatl's smooth playmaking skills.
Right Wing - Glenn Anderson. Anderson was a fast skating, sparkplug, clutch scoring, power forward. Known to be a bit reckless, he used his speed and fearlessness to score goals.
Heir apparent - Nail Yakupov. I have always been a Yakupov fan. He hasn't lived up to his draft pedigree but he is still young and I would love to see him succeed. At his best potential he could be that fast skating, power forward goal scorer. If he's not traded and he finds his game.
The game has evolved and 3rd and 4th lines aren't the same as they used to be. The Marty McSorleys and Dave Semenkos aren't as prevalent anymore, so I stop my line combinations here.
I didn't mention Hall anywhere here because I'm still going through the 7 stages of grief. Stage 1 - shock and denial. Refuse to believe something so ridiculous actually happened. Hall will be missed. Not looking forward to Stage 2 - Pain and Guilt.