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11-21-2012, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Interesting that both these guys fed off of the greatness of the top 2 players in NHL history. And you could throw Hull (number 7? in the top 100) in there for the early part of Espo's career. Espo was definitely the more offensively gifted. He just had a knack for touching the puck at the right time. However, Messier became elite in my mind when he led the Rangers to a SC. For that he ekes by Espo. Which makes me wonder about Messier's ranking in the top 100. Is he too high (no. 12)? I think so.
Esposito's stats fell off without Bobby Orr. But Mark Messier's stats didn't really go up until 1986-87, right before Gretzky left, and they stayed up. Makes sense since once Messier was moved to C, he rarely shared ice time with Gretzky. I also remember reading that he received limited PP time until around 1986-87.

Either way, both of Messier's Hart Trophies and his runner-up finish came without Gretzky.

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