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08-01-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by IComeInPeace View Post
I recall reading a quote from Gretzky way back when, refrring to Kent Nilsson as the most talented player in the league (I think it was before Lemieux came into the league)...

I also believe I heard someone in the media say you couldmline up 20 pucks at the blueline, and Kent could put all 20 in off of the post, he was that skilled.

However, if you look at his numbers in the regular season, and compare them to his playoff stats, you see a guy that seems to have been the prototype for the playoff choker. Year after year he failed to get it done in the playoffs. He finished his career with 11 playoff goals.

While in his prime, the Flames traded him for essentially a 2nd round draft pick despite being fresh off of a 99 point season, they couldnt even find anyone to offer up a decent player and/ or 1st rounder for him.
He goes to the North Stars, and despite being a point per game player in each of his 2 seasons, they peddle him to the Oilers for futures (which turns out to only be cash).
After 1 season, and a Cup with the Oilers, they too let him walk.

Super talented but for all intents and purposes, his season ended after game 80.

I think the best evaluator of his worth was what his GM's thought of him, as well as what rival GMs were willing to give up for him, even when he was at his best.
Didn't Messier threaten Nilsson's life in the locker room at one point in time? I thought I remember a story where MM really got on Nilsson for not stepping it up come play-off time.

I would also say that Gretzky threw around the "most talented player" monicker pretty easily. I think he said it about a young Swedish forward on the Rangers at one point in time, and I can't remember his name.

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