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11-21-2012, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Really, is he?... Considering he was noticeably a much better player when Orr played with him, that is far from open-and-shut.
... ya, this is controversial. Right off the bat Im going to throw out pre-Boston with Chicago and post Bruins with the Rangers, an act that in and of itself would give the nod to Messier. Though he doesnt have the same gaudy numbers in his prime & peak, theres really no question in my mind that Messier was the more intrinsically valuable performer & leader in both Edmonton & New York.

Im not going to bash Phil, he wore his heart on his sleeve, but really, Messier was a far more intelligent (and nastier) player & leader. Both had incredible supporting casts, however, that Mark was able to enervate & elevate every single player on the Rangers post Edmonton and break on through really eclipses to my way of thinking what Espo accomplished throughout his career. Stylistically, there really is no comparison. Entirely different types mentally & in terms of play.

And to your post BigPhil, as much as I respect Esposito, fact is, had I been selecting Team Canada in 72, I would not have drawn his card from the deck of the then roughly 360+ players I had to choose from. Indeed, there are numerous players from that squad who wouldnt have been invited to my Camp, including the selection of Goaltenders. In many ways, his sweaty diatribe in upbraiding the fans in Vancouver after another loss was simply illustrative of the mistakes Sinden & Ferguson (with Eaglesons overarching influence) had made, were making in terms of player selection. Slow on the uptake behind the bench, won the dealeo by a whisker, a frankly no-name Born Again Christian the Hero.

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