Did Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky, produce the greatest season of all time? Fan’s view

Bobby Orr is considered by many to be the greatest defenseman ever. Some also consider him to be hockey's greatest player.

Orr and Gretzky are equally in the Hall of Fame. But, who had the better season between them?
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Wayne Gretzky is the National Hockey League's all-time points leader. But, he holds the title of the 'Great One' for reasons that go well beyond his 2,857 career points.

A number of legendary forwards and defensemen produced outstanding individual seasons during their careers. A closer look at the numbers, reveals that Orr and Gretzky arguably had the two best seasons in history.

But, which player had the best season?

Orr's 1970-71 season

In 1970-71, Orr generated the highest point total of his career.

The 22-year-old defenseman scored 37 goals and had 102 assists, for 139 points, during a season that was sandwiched between two Boston Bruins Stanley Cup winning years.

Orr was plus 124 during that 78-game season, a mark that still stands as the best ever recorded. Montreal Canadiens defenseman Larry Robinson ranks second, with a plus 120 during his 1976-77 season.

Orr's 102 assists are the highest total that was ever recorded by any defenseman.

Paul Coffey, who was Gretzky's teammate for many years with the Edmonton Oilers, has the second highest ranking total for a defenseman. He had 90 assists in the 1985-86 season.

That specific season Gretzky's most dynamic and serves as our point comparison with Orr.

Gretzky's 1985-86 season

The Oilers did not win the Stanley Cup in 1985-86. They had won back-to-back Cups in the two previous seasons and also went on to win back-to-back Cups in the next two seasons.

Gretzky amassed 215 points in 1985-86. The 25-year-old had 52 goals, 163 assists and was a plus 71 during that 80-game season.

He is the only player to ever top the 200 point mark. It was a barrier that he broke four different times in the 1980s with that high-scoring Oilers team.

Pittsburgh Penguins great Mario Lemieux almost became a member of the '200 point club' when he compiled 199 points in the 1988-89 season.

The verdict

Despite an injury-shortened career, Orr's compressed accomplishments are undeniably brilliant.

Due to Gretzky's seasonal and career point production totals, it could be said that the moniker of the 'Great One' fits him perfectly.

Everyone's relatively equal access to information sources has created a world full of well-versed sports fans.

The final conclusion of one person is no more valuable than that of another. So, it is always most respectful to allow everyone's voice to be heard when this question is asked: Did Bobby Orr, or Wayne Gretzky, produce the greatest season of all-time?

I became a Flyers fan during the mid-1970s and consider street hockey to be the winter version of wiffle ball. Follow me on Twitter @SeanyOB

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Updated Tuesday, Aug 2, 2011