Originally Posted by Dan Lobb
Orr is generally regarded as the most naturally gifted hockey player ever, and Hoad is generally regarded as the most naturally gifted tennis player ever. Both had their record-breaking years shortened by injury.
Orr's peak lasted from about 1968 to 1972, while Hoad's was about 1956 to 1960. Almost the same duration of peak form, and terminated by injury in the final year of the periods.
If memory serves, I believe Orr had a higher combined plus minus rating in his short career than Gretzky had in his much longer career. That is astounding considering the caliber of player Gretzky was. I could be wrong.
Ediit. I was right. See below.