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KING 09-24-2003 03:16 AM

Messier Committed To Winning
 
http://www.ctnow.com/sports/hockey/h...adlines-hockey

Pearl Necklace 09-24-2003 04:06 AM

"It takes about a year to rehab and get your full strength back, and I was at about 40 percent and couldn't do a pull-up and barely a pushup coming into camp last year," Messier said.

Terryble 09-24-2003 04:37 AM

can someone please post the whole article

thanks

KING 09-24-2003 06:30 AM

Messier Committed To Winning
September 24, 2003
By BRUCE BERLET, Courant Staff Writer

He will turn 43 in January, and he's recognized as one of the premier leaders in sports. A spot in the Hall of Fame is secure.

So why would Mark Messier return for a 25th season with a team that hasn't made the playoffs for a franchise record six seasons?

"You've got to love the game enough to do all the things necessary to be successful," Messier said. "If the desire and dedication goes, then your skills and everything else follow rapidly."

Messier was leaning toward returning and continued to work out late into the summer.

"This was the first time I had to ask myself if I really wanted to play again, so it was a good test for me," Messier said.

Messier hemmed and hawed into August, talking to general manager and coach Glen Sather between workouts, some time off and the birth of his second son, Douglas Paul, July 15.

"It's a big commitment in the summer and season to stay in shape," Messier said. "And it's a big commitment to do the things you have to do in order to win."

Sather said he never pressured Messier.

"With a guy who has played as long as he has, you don't go to him and say it's time to quit," Sather said. "You have to give him enough respect so that he comes to you and says, `You know, I think I'm ready to retire.'"

Sather told Messier he might have to play a lesser role.

"He'll be happy to do anything he can do to help the team," Sather said. "He's not going to [complain] if he's playing 10 minutes a game and killing penalties."

Messier, who averaged 181/2 minutes last season, said that since turning pro at 18 years old, the team has always come first. .

"The roles have changed every year with different groups of guys, different teams and different positions," Messier said. "I don't ever see that changing, but you have to put the team in front of yourself. It's the only way a team can win, if it gets the collection of guys that are willing to sacrifice themselves and their own needs for the team."

Messier will probably start on the fourth line with Matthew Barnaby and former Springfield Pic Dan LaCouture. Messier began last season in a similar role with Barnaby, but injuries elevated him to a more prominent role.

Messier said he feels "200 percent stronger" than a year ago, when he was recovering from shoulder surgery that limited him to 41 games in 2001-02 and led to career lows of seven goals and 23 points.

"It takes about a year to rehab and get your full strength back, and I was at about 40 percent and couldn't do a pull-up and barely a pushup coming into camp last year," Messier said.

Messier was productive last season until he injured his thumb in December. He finished with 18 goals and 22 assists. Messier is third all-time in points (1,844, six behind Gordie Howe), fourth in assists (1,168, one behind Ray Bourque) and eighth in goals (676).

Messier said he is more comfortable this year because there are more familiar faces on the team.

"I think it gives us a little more in common than the last couple of years," said Messier, who returned to New York in 2000 after three years with the Vancouver Canucks. "So while we haven't been that successful lately, it's still good to have the same basic players coming back so you feel a little bit of ownership of the team and have some responsibility for what has happened.

"The names and the talent are only one aspect of a successful team. There are so many other variables, and, quite honestly, there have been some players who have had the opportunity to play for the Rangers that didn't deserve it.

"There have been far too many players who didn't have the pride or the discipline or the care for the Rangers' uniform and organization, and it has shown the last six years."

MisterUnspoken 09-24-2003 07:28 AM

Quote:


"The names and the talent are only one aspect of a successful team. There are so many other variables, and, quite honestly, there have been some players who have had the opportunity to play for the Rangers that didn't deserve it.

"There have been far too many players who didn't have the pride or the discipline or the care for the Rangers' uniform and organization, and it has shown the last six years."
I think thats about the truest thing Mark has said in a long while

Melrose_Jr. 09-24-2003 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MisterUnspoken
I think thats about the truest thing Mark has said in a long while

Honestly, sounds a little too much like "it's not my fault the Rangers have sucked for my entire 2nd stint as Captain" to me. :cry: At this point, it's pretty contentious that he "deserves" to be wearing a Ranger sweater or any other for that matter, so he need not be pointing fingers at anyone.

professor frink 09-24-2003 08:15 AM

A real test of Messier's role
 
would be an injury to either Nedved or Lindros. If Messier automatically gets the spot when someone in Hartford (say Moore) is tearing up the AHL, I will join the chorus of gripers. Messier as a fourth line center doesn't bother me one bit. If he gets a good deal of PK time, then let's hope his PP time is limited. Although many complain about his lack of defense these days, I still think he could be effective shorthanded, especially on faceoffs.

Edge 09-24-2003 09:24 AM

the theory sounds great, now lets see if they stick to the plan. thats the real test.

sorry i am just a little numb to the explanations year after year. there is always an injury or a bunch of slackers or something.

you know the part of the movie major league 2 where the coach finally goes nuts in the locker room and has a heart attack? that sums up the rangers.

"it's always an injury thing, or a money thing or a head thing...."

dedalus 09-24-2003 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Edge
sorry i am just a little numb to the explanations year after year. there is always an injury or a bunch of slackers or something.

"it's always an injury thing, or a money thing or a head thing...."

You forgot to mention booing fans and first line centers who weren't comfortable with their sticks.

ddheyman 09-24-2003 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr.
Honestly, sounds a little too much like "it's not my fault the Rangers have sucked for my entire 2nd stint as Captain" to me. :cry: At this point, it's pretty contentious that he "deserves" to be wearing a Ranger sweater or any other for that matter, so he need not be pointing fingers at anyone.

He has never said that and he has always taken blame.

Like or him or not, but he has never ever shirked responsibility. He always speaks to the press after games, win or lose, and is THE MODEL of responsibility in being a captain.

You might not think he deserves his ice time, you might not want him on the team because of diminished skills (in your opinion), but at least be honest and correct about things you state ... and HE NEVER ONCE used his shoulder injury as an excuse two years ago when he couldn't even lift his arm and he played through it, and he never once used it as an excuse last year.

Why can't a player just say, you know what, my arm feels a lot better this year without that being an excuse about last year ... you know all the writers need to write articles, and there is very little going on, so when one of them asks him about his arm, he says its much better, thats going to be an article ...

Ranger Wolf 09-24-2003 11:21 AM

WINNING! Oh I thought that said WHINING. :D

Melrose_Jr. 09-24-2003 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ddheyman
He has never said that and he has always taken blame.

Like or him or not, but he has never ever shirked responsibility.

Uh, maybe you didn't catch MESSIER'S direct quotes.

Quote:

"there have been some players who have had the opportunity to play for the Rangers that didn't deserve it"
or

Quote:

"There have been far too many players who didn't have the pride or the discipline or the care for the Rangers' uniform and organization, and it has shown the last six years".
That doesn't sound like taking the blame to me. In fact, it sounds like it was everyone's fault but his.

Trottier 09-24-2003 12:32 PM

For what it is worth, I'd guess Messier's words still carry a lot of weight with his teammates, much moreso than they obviously do with many fans. whether or not that translates on to the ice is another story, of course.

Rodent 09-24-2003 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trottier
For what it is worth, I'd guess Messier's words still carry a lot of weight with his teammates.

Not likely. According to Brooks, Messier doesn't associate with anybody else but Leetch in the locker room.

JCProdigy 09-25-2003 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rodent
Not likely. According to Brooks, Messier doesn't associate with anybody else but Leetch in the locker room.

Why would anybody listen to what Brooks has to say about anything?

Rodent 09-25-2003 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JCProdigy
Why would anybody listen to what Brooks has to say about anything?

Probably because he has access to the locker room and you don't.

True Blue 09-25-2003 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rodent
Probably because he has access to the locker room and you don't.

He's also given to writting quite many flights of fancy. Let's recall how he guarenteed that Jagr would be a Ranger.

JCProdigy 09-25-2003 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rodent
Probably because he has access to the locker room and you don't.


BS! He gets in there when every other reporter is allowed in there and thats for 15 min after a game to ask questions about the game. He isn't there at practices, in between periods, on the bench. He has no idea how the other players on the team view messier unless they tell him and I seriously doubt they would tell Brooks anything like that. The guy has reported many a thing that has never come to fruition so whoever his so-called source is, must not know much at all.

...and I know that I don't have access to the locker room or the bench or the practices or the player's minds so I don't pretend to know what's going on behind those closed doors, on that bench or in those players minds.

Isn't it time for you to threaten to sue someone?


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