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09-23-2012, 09:58 AM
  #118
Erik Estrada
@Denis.Coderre
 
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Country: Canada
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There's a certain part of this that's normal. I could give the story of many players in their early careers that had off-ice issues. But right now, I'm polishing off a Messier biographie by Jeff Z. Klein. It's about Mark Messier aka "the greatest leader in history".

First year of pro hockey:
"He was a kid who suddenly had all the money, and he didn't handle himself very well... He's a good lad, too, but he likes to party... he wasn't handling his big money and freedom at Cincinnati all that well. He's much better than his point total with the Stingers show." (Edmonton Sun)

First season with the Oilers:
"As he would soon demonstrate, however he'd be expending a lot more than just one percent of his effort on having fun.."

"Off the ice and in the company of his friends on the already close-kit Oilers, Messier was having a good time, with a vengeance. A couple of years later he would admit that he went out when the lights went on and came home when they went off..."

(Kevin) Lowe described the early Messier, the party animal, in terms that deftly tiptoe around specifics: "We had some great times, to say the least... Mark loves to have a good time. He and I probably went out on the town a little more than Wayne..''


''...Messier was very much the club-hopping hellion in need of discipline that first season.''

Messier missed his plane for St-Louis (not bus) with the Oilers to go to a game (not practice, not pre-season).
"Mark headed for the nearest phone and called Bruce Mac Gregor, who by now was assisting (Sather) in the front office. ''I missed the flight to St. Louis" Mark announced.
"That's all right,' MacGregor replied. "I have one for you'
''Good,' said Mark with the utmost naiveté. 'Can I catch the team'
"MacGregor paused momentarily. 'Yeah, you can catch the team. But the team you're catching is the Houston Apollos.''


He was demoted. Later after he was back with the Oilers for a while, Sather almost demoted him again:
''If he wanted to stay with the Oilers, Sather told him, he would have to get his head back into the game and cool down his social life. He was to be home at night, subject to bed checks.''

"Messier had a stubborn streak...and Sather's ultimatum, apparently was almost too much for him to take... (Messier) did not react as quickly to this lecture as Sather might have hoped. In fact, as he was to say later, he gave very serious thought to shoving the whole business and devoting his youth to enjoying himself.''


Last edited by Erik Estrada: 09-23-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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