Why was Dale Hawerchuk so underrated?

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“Playing in the shadow of” belongs in the sports cliché pantheon. It’s a term as tired as a beat-up pair of leather goalie pads, used to describe a great player who toiled in obscurity because some other stars, be they teammates or contemporary opponents, shone their brightest at the same time.

But few athletes in pro sports history embody the expression better than Dale Hawerchuk. His best years perfectly coincided with the rise of the two greatest pure scoring forwards of all-time: Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.