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01-29-2011, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jags6868 View Post
In terms of intangibles though, people overrate them because they overrate the importance of these perceived intangibles that these two players had.
I don't understand this statement at all. Unless you played in the NHL, and on one of Messier's teams no less, how can you say with certainty that his intangibles were overrated? Listen to Messier's teammates, peers (and opposing coaches) talk about him and that's what's important. It's easy to watch games on TV from a cozy sofa and pick players apart. But when it comes to intangibles such as great leadership, desire and inspiration, I'll put some stock into what Messier's peers had to say.

Watch "The Boys on the Bus" documentary on the Oilers and the players flatout said, "Messier is the soul of the team." Read the book "Keenan" and Mike Keenan talks about his series vs. Messier while he was coaching the Blackhawks and how Messier flipped a switch and just willed the Oilers past his Hawks. He said during the pivotal game of the series, Messier came out in the first shift, threw a few nasty checks, scored a goal and pretty much took the game (and series) over.

On different occasions, Kevin Lowe was on record of saying that Gretzky was their superstar but Messier was the engine that drove the Oilers, hence them winning a Cup under Messier and without Gretzky.

In all walks of professional life, leaders and motivators are extremely important. The best ones are pretty much invaluable. There are a lot of talented players and teams who never reach their potential because the chemistry is not there and/or the leadership is lacking. A player like Messier had the gift to lead, which is why he was a champion.

Messier's package places him in the top 10-15 all-time IMO. But if we want to just measure players on their raw skill and flash, then we may as well bump Alex Kovalev up into the top 10.

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