Also, for my money, Elias is a better player than MacLean was, and it probably isn't even that close. That's both for the Devils and for overall career. Maclean played in an era where multiple players would score 50+ goals, Elias played in an era where players scored less and Elias still outdid MacLean by points, while being a better defensive player.
MacLean was a top Devil for a bunch of years, Elias was a top player in the league for a bunch of years. I'd rate Elias much higher when looking whose jersey might get retired, even if you counted MacLean's whole career.
You definitely can't compare them by the numbers...they played in different eras. For Elias, top offensive teams averaged 3.5 GPG. For MacLean, 3.5 GPG was the mark of an average team, with several teams averaging 4+, and teams like Gretzky's Oilers averaging over 5 GPG.
MacLean was really one of the first bona-fide Devils stars, and was a very good player for a while, though his torn ACL really derailed him...he still had some nice goal output seasons after that, but was never as good as he was when he scored 128 goals from '88-'89 to '90-'91. But he was a big reason the Devils slowly but surely were starting to get some respect...just like his Devils, MacLean had to fight for everything he got. Elias began his career with a team that was already established. MacLean was a big reason the Devils became established in the first place.
Anyway, no argument as to who was better. Clearly it's Elias, and MacLean remaining a Devil wouldn't have changed that fact. But like I said, it's too bad MacLean refused to give his new role with the Devils a chance...he could've still been a valuable, though less statiscally impressive, commodity.