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10-30-2012, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I wouldn't use hfboards polls to show "consensus" about anything. The majority of users on this site are probably too young to have seen Messier play even when he was a shell of himself.
Would you say that about the posters in the History section? Many on here have a very broad yet extensive grasp of the history of the NHL.

Messier dragged a star-studded New York team down in his second tenure with them and his 2 Hart trophies are largely contested among the History section posters. His 6 Stanley Cups are the sole reason for his overrating position among the all-time best. Messier is not even among the top 10 all-time two-way forwards (an attribute that is vastly overrating him) while Jagr is easily a top 5 all-time offensive forward/ player. Give Jagr better talent in those Lemieux-less teams he led and I'm sure he would have won 1 or 2 Cups with him as Conn Smythe winner. Messier played most of his career with sure-shot Hall of Fame talent; Gretzky, Kurri, Anderson, Coffey, Leetch, Fuhr, not to mention great role players like Tikkanen, Richter, Graves...

Give Jagr a better defense in 1998-99, 1999-00 and 2005-08 for instance and he would have made his spot in the top 10 be a slam dunk. Yes I know this is pure speculation but Jagr is a victim of playing on some mediocre defensive teams while Messier was fortunate enough to play on so many great teams. It's no surpise that the top 10 scorers in playoffs history feature Messier, Gretzky, Kurri, Anderson and Coffey all of which played on the same team. The Dead Puck Era was all about defense and the Penguins lacked it which made it nearly impossible for them to contend with such powerhouses as the Devils, Flyers, Stars, Red Wings and Avalanche. Jagr did his part by scoring in bunches and carrying those teams on his back while also stepping up his forechecking game in the playoffs (contrary to popular belief that he was a cherrypicker).

... and before you star mentioning the talent that Pittsburgh had in the early 90's, don't forget that Jagr wasn't in his prime yet. A prime Jagr never had half the All-Star, Hall of Fame support that the other players in the top 10 had.

Lemieux, Howe, Orr, Gretzky, Morenz, Beliveau, Richard were all surrounded with tremendous talent during their primes. I'm not going to argue that given the circumstances that Jagr could have supplanted any of those players from the top 10 but at least the argument could have been more interesting.

Last edited by livewell68: 10-30-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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