Take a look at Bob Gainey's career statistics. This is perhaps the most obvious case that statistics do not tell the whole story.
An impressive 1160 games played but "only" 239 career goals, 262 assists for 501 points. Throw in 25 more goals and 73 more points in 182 playoff games, and it appears Bob was a fairly average player.
Gainey never scored more than 23 goals or 47 points in a single season, yet the Russians once called him the greatest player in the world.
Gainey was a defensive specialist. He was constantly bumping, grinding, tormenting, frustrating and nullifying his opponents. The NHL didn't hand out an award for the game's best defensive forward until 1978, and Gainey's awesome largely responsible for the creation of the award. Gainey was the first recipient of the Frank J. Selke Trophy and won it 4 years in a row.
Full Bob Gainey Biography