THN: The War of the Words

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The War of the


Cheers had Sam

and Diane. Friends had Ross and Rachel. The Office has Jim and Pam.

Our office has ‘Broph’ and ‘The Little Ball of Hate’.

Senior writers Mike Brophy and Ken Campbell get on like an old married couple:

great friends to the core when they aren’t disagreeing on the color of the sky.

Heck, they very nearly engaged in a fist fight several years ago when Campbell (four inches and

30 pounds smaller than his sweetheart) threw rocks at Broph following a heated

(and well-hydrated) debate.

That passion often lights up our editorial meetings, but it’s something our

readers don’t get to witness. We figured it was time to give you a glimpse.

We sat Campbell and Brophy down, threw on the tape recorder and let them go at

it on several contentious subjects. Editor Jason Kay served as

moderator/referee. Here’s an edited transcript (this is a family publication,

after all).

Gretzky vs. Orr

Jason Kay: Wayne Gretzky was voted the No. 1 player of all-time by an

incredible panel of experts assembled by The Hockey News in 1997. Bobby Orr was

a very close second. Nothing that has happened since would have impacted their

legacies, so why, Broph, do you think Orr is No. 1?

Mike Brophy: This is Ginger vs. Mary-Anne – you can’t go wrong with either. I

love what Gretzky did, how could you not? But I’ve always thought to myself how

would a team of Gretzkys do against a team of Orrs? Because Orr had the

physical element and his skill level was every bit as high, I think the team of

Orrs would beat the team of Gretzkys.

Ken Campbell: When I think of Gretzky it still blows me away that if he didn’t

score a single goal in the NHL, he’d still be the all-time leading scorer. To

me, that says there has never been anyone better than him. And he’s probably

the most underrated scorer in the history of hockey. He’s one of the great

all-time goal-scorers in the game. Give me a break, Broph, Orr played, what,

nine years? Gretzky played 21 years.

MB: I don’t think it’s fair to bring in the injury factor. If you do you have

to bring in the way injuries were treated. If Wayne had his knee blown out and had doctors

scraping at it…

KC: But he didn’t. He played 20 years for a reason. He was a durable player who

had good mental toughness and was able to lead himself out of positions where

he was vulnerable. He was a target every game he played.

JK: Ken, how do you respond to Broph’s assertion that if you played five Orrs

against five Gretzkys, the Orrs would win?

KC: No, because Wayne Gretzky’s a better goaltender.

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