Comparing Messier/Richards Acquisitions (and state of franchises), 20 years later.
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08-08-2011, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New York
Originally Posted by
The 1991 Rangers entering this offseason were further ahead, about a good step or two than the 2011 Rangers.
The 91-92 team started off the season 2 superstars (Messier & Gartner), and a young star on the verge of becoming a superstar (Leetch), and what was arguably the best goaltending tandem in the league (Beezer & Richter). They had two young NCAA Stars (Amonte and Weight) they had guys who could score (Graves, Turcotte, Ogrodnick & Kerr - even though these two were near the end of their careers, they provided depth) and a very solid top 4 that consisted of Leetch, Patrick, Lowe, Beukeboom and depth guys like Cirella, etc. They were a team that had potential... but no one knew how rookies like Amonte, Nemchinov, and Weight would play (65 goals from Amonte and Nemchinov) and Messier just helped push along their development, immensly.
You look at the team now, they're probably about two steps behind. They have two star players in Richards and Gaborik, and one of the top 3 goaltenders in the league in Lundqvist. They don't have a single defender that even resembles a Leetch, and they have some prospects with hype that have quite of bit of potential ready to step in, Thomas, Hagelin, Erixon. They don't have scoring depth, as we all know they've been one of the worst offensive teams in the league since Jagr's last 90+ point season. The power play is awful and has been since that time as well. The very early 90's teams weren't nearly this futile on the man advantage. The defense is one of the youngest corps in the league.
To me, the Rangers are a few things away from the cup.
- Experience, as this team in a few years will be deadly.
- Consistent offensive production from more than 1 line, nevermind a 2nd.
- A power forward who can score.
- An elite defender, a young one that's ready to take the next step (possibly Staal?)
To me, those are the things that the 91-92 team had that seperates them from the team now.
Just how good were they really? Rangers finished at the top of the regular season in 91-92 but they didn't even make the playoffs in 92-93, which was probably the most disappointing season I can remember (they out Mets'd the Mets).
For me the biggest difference between Messier and Richards is that Messier was the kind of player that will make me listen to a hockey game on the radio.
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