Mario Lemieux

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None better! If you say Gretzky, its because you either never saw both play or forgot just how hostel the media was to his being bumped to second, its also why Gretzky won a few extra Hart trophies at guess who's expense? Look, I felt the same way at first but then I just could not believe what I was seeing every time I saw him play on a team that without him was dead in last place! His behind the net goals, his speed, his reach, his moves by HoF defensive players.
Truly the only professional athlete in a team sport who looked like he was playing against kids but their was no other league to go to! And BS if you say Jordan, I never got that feeling at all and Babe Ruth would be the only other athlete.
To make it even more amazing was to learn he was playing with real physical issues to top it off. I just cannot imagine someone playing at a level so far above anyone else and yet not reaching even close to what might have been!
Now throw a healthy Mario onto a HoF loaded team ...more

It is either Orr or Lemieux based upon pure skills alone they are both far better than Gretzky. If people were allowed to check Gretzky his numbers would have been different. If he didn't have protectors on his own team the same could easily be said. Plus, Gretzky's teams were FAR BETTER than Mario's and it was not mostly because Wayne made them better, they were better on their own than the Pens. Of course, everyone knows Wayne's records would have been matched at least if not surpassed if Mario had played longer and healthier. Imagine how many points he would have had in seasons he played hurt or sick. Not to mention the shortened career. Gretzky should be third. I would even consider Howe 3rd and Gretzky fourth. Howe was more physical and a better all around player, so was Mario. Orr changed the game and redefined defensemen. He made people chasing him look silly. All of the fastest skaters of the time admitted they feared having to try to keep up with him and even worse if Orr got ...more

The top 3 on this list are the unquestioned 3, and you could pretty much argue for any order amongst them from 1-3. I believe it was Lemieux at the top, as he was the most incredible combination of size, strength, pure skill, and that rare and incredible hockey sense that only the very greatest are possessed of. If Mario had had the opportunities of Gretzky (not just the long and prosperous career in good health, but also to have played from the beginning on a team like Gretzky's 1980's Oilers) I think it's pretty clear and undeniable that the record books would have a different tilt.

Lemieux was the greatest despite what people are saying motivated mostly by emotional reasons that Gretzky was better... Mario was a bigger better gretzky...

Anyone who actually watches hockey and watched Super Mario, knows that he is the greatest all around hockey player that has ever lived! Super Mario was not a one trick pony like some of those goal scoring specialists out there, who can't pass or play defense. For those of you who only invest in those statistics, know that Super Mario would have broken all of Gretzky's records had his career not been cut short. - CaptainAmerica2000

Crosby? You must be young and never have seen Lemieux at all, on his worst day better then Crosby, Sorry but true! As for you Gretzky fans, well he would find it vary hard going in today's NHL and if on a poor team without 5 major enforcers and a truck load of Hall of Famers, not to mention Gretzky rules that made playing Edmonton a joke, his life span would be one shift! I know how you would reply, so don't! Yet, their are honest people who know what I Mean! Don't get me wrong, Gretzky had a ton of tallent and is perhaps the best passer and an unparalleled ability to be in the right place on the ice to score. However, put him on any other team and his numbers fall by a third and as for today's players size and speed, I doubt be could even survive!
Sincerely,
Marc Jansen

Gritty, fast, athletic, and using a wicked shot makes Mario Lemieux "The Magnificent One." Overall, the best player ever. Super Mario has great stats, but some very serious life issues hampered what could have made him the statistical leader in more categories. Also, at times, Lemieux had below-par players around him and had to fend for himself. He responded by being the most exciting player to watch. With abilities that left him leagues ahead of competitors. Watch his old footage for yourself. Compare him to anybody then. It'd be hard to deny he was the best after seeing him in action in comparison with the other legends.

Mario would be and should be the best nhl player ever because he went through a lot to just get there. he fought cancer he missed like half a season about 7 times, and his 2.5 points per game would give him an average of about 205 points each season. Mario is all around the best player. He could easly top the 2,500 point mark. Lets go mario the magnificent!!!!!

I doubt the Great One could have done what Super Mario did with everything that he battled against, cancer and inconsistent playing time and unfinished seasons. Just b/c he has more stats doesn't mean that he is a better player. Super Mario IS the greatest.

I agree. Mario didn't play on a team like the Oilers with many other stars. Mario could win games all by himself. Gretzky had a great supporting cast for the most part. Gretzky could utilize his entire team better than anyone else. Mario though, could do it all by himself. I had my choice in a close game down to the wire, Mario would be my choice. One on one; super Mario!

Is this a joke? How is Ovechkin higher than Lemieux? How is Gretzky higher than Lemieux? The guy played through about 10,000 setbacks on a team where he was the only superstar for years and years. No one will ever even come close to his level of skill. No one.

Beeing from the "belle province" and old enough to have witness Mario in his junior prime, I can say (even if at that time Wayne was the only one) I knew that I was looking at what was to become the best hockey player of all time.

Lemieux is the best and will remain that way until someone can come along and show the skills, the vision, the physique and the intelligence to a higher degree. Not only that, he would have to show class, dedication and social awerness. Mario Lemieux is a true gentlemen and

Whoever thinks Wayne "please don't hit me" gretzky was the greatest player is a putz. He couldn't take a hit and single-handedly killed hockey. He made it so that defenders couldn't use their stick on players with the puck. He wouldn't stand a chance against Mario.

If you could have any hockey player in his prime on your team, any true hockey fan would choose Lemieux. His skill was immediately, and his shortened career did not stop him from posting a points per game average of over 2 after his first retirement. He truly is the magnificent one.

Best points per game ever, best goals per game ever, and he could defend himself. Did you ever see Gretzky get ejected for a fight he didn't even start? I don't think so. Cancer and back problems are the only reasons why Lemieux isn't the obvious #1.

The best ever... Period! His skill set and pure power will never be matched again. If not for his setbacks with back problems and cancer, he would have averaged more points per game then #99.

Mario Lemiex finished his career with 572 games behing wayne and mario had a total points of 1723 Wayne Gretzky had a total of 2857 points lot's could've happend in that 572 game span.

He is the most gifted player of all time. Too bad for him and for us that he had to play with a back injury all his career beside his cancer. He is number one for talent and skills. Are we voting for the best player or for the best stats player?

Gretzky is great but Lemieux is in my opinion is better. He had unreal numbers in junior and had trouble with cancer 2-3 times during his career and every time he came back he was great

Mario Lemieux is the greatest hockey player to played the game. Size, speed, strength and skills. He had it all. He could do it all on the ice and dominate like no others could even with a bad back. Lemieux beat a lot of teams by himself.

Sorry about my spelling error before, be instead of he! Let me just add that Bobby Orr once said Lemieux was the best if that counts for anything!

It only took Mario lemieux 1 shot to score his very first goal. I think he's the greatest player of all time. He's better than bobby orr. I'm 7 years old.

Better than Gretzky no doubt, too bad he was was always sick or hurt he probably would been a member of the 3000 club. Retired at full strength unlike the great one

This should be called "greatest hockey players besides Gretzky" Because he is the best but Lemieux should be #2 on this list by a long shot - pjh4109

if he played as much games he would have broken gretzkys records, even bobby orr said he was the most talented player ever

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