What the Blackhawks have done over the last five years is impressive, there is no question. But comparing their accomplishments to those of past eras can be difficult.
However, if there was anyone who could compare teams from different eras, it would be Wayne Gretzky. The Great One appeared on ESPN 1000 with Dave Kaplan and Nick Friedell. During the interview, Gretzky said he thought what the Blackhawks have done is more impressive than the two most dominant teams from the 1980s.
Gretzky says that what Blackhawks are doing now in this era is probably more difficult than what Oilers and Islanders did in the 80s.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 12, 2016
Gretzky played on four Stanley Cup winning Edmonton Oilers teams through the ’80s. The New York Islanders won four straight Cups to start the decade, followed by the Oilers winning four of the next five.
Obviously, a lot has changed since Gretzky’s time in the league. Since then, the NHL has instituted a salary cap and a much looser free agency.
Despite the changes, the Blackhawks have been able to keep together much of their core players, winning three Stanley Cups over the last six seasons.
During the interview, Gretzky was very complimentary of the Blackhawks as a whole, but specifically Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. He briefly compared their dynamic to the one he had with Mark Messier during his time with the New York Rangers.