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11-22-2012, 10:35 PM
  #52
DisgruntledGoat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Mikita played a similar rough/dirty game to Messier early in his career, but I believe became a much better player when he was winning Lady Byng votes while still being well above average defensively. Messier was just never that great defensively - his physical edge and speed made him a threat everywhere, but I never viewed him as an elite two-way player. The media loved Messier, but his surprising lack of Selke votes substantiates my observations.
Pre-90s, the Selke was the domain of actual defensive forwards; guys who played on the third-line and checked for a living (with the deserved exception of Clarke).

It wasn't until the Fedorov win in 1994 that it became the, 'give-it-to-whoever-needs-a-trophy' bastardization it currently is.

Had voting tendencies been what they were during Messier's peak, I think he wins a couple.

In the 1987 Canada Cup, Keenan had as much talent at his disposal as any coach ever (including future Selke winner Gilmour, noted shutdown artist Sutter, and two-way star Hawerchuk), and he went with Messier wire-to-wire against the best line in the world at the time.

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