A common myth spread by Wayne Gretzky detractors is the idea that Wayne greatly benefited from playing in the 1980s, and that in no way would Gretzky be able to dominate in any other era. Do not believe them. In fact do not listen to anything they have to say about hockey. These loudmouths really don't know what they're talking about.
Take a look at Bill Cowley. The Boston Bruins center was a dominant superstar of hockey in the 1930s and 1940s. He was just a fantastic player that history has basically forgotten about. It's a shame really, as he was perhaps the most-comparable player to Gretzky from hockey's earlier era.
In fact, for nearly 4 decades Cowley owned the NHL record that Gretzky finally caught for most points-per-game in one season. In 1943-44 Cowley had an amazing 1.97 average. Gretzky recorded a 2.05 average in 1981, breaking the record. Cowley was still alive when it happened.
"Two points a game over an 80 game schedule, that would be amazing," said Cowley. "I never thought I'd see the day when a player would do that. I always thought that would be impossible."
Cowley's mark was set in just 36 games played in a 50 game schedule. Playing with the dynamic Herb Cain, Cowley tallied 30 goals and 41 assists.
When asked to compare himself to Gretzky, Cowley deflected the question but with a truthful offering.
"They forgot about Bill Cowley a long time ago. But they'll never forget about Wayne Gretzky."
Learn more about Bill Cowley here.