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02-02-2013, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sens Rule View Post
He was widely considered the second or third best forward to Gretzky and then Mario for many seasons before he ever won the Hart.
Not true. In fact, he only finish top-five in PPG twice, only once before his first Hart. And if you seriously think he was considered "third-best" for MANY seasons... you're nuts.

Originally Posted by CharlestownChiefsESC View Post
Yeah, but without Messier there none of hose guys have good years. He brought that all together. He was the glue on that team.
Yep, I'm sure Brian Leetch, who was a Norris contender while Messier was in Edmonton, was really going to have a problem having a good season without Messier. And I'm sure a Canadian offensive forward in Messier had an amazing amount to do with how well a young Russian defensive defenseman like Karpovtsev played. Did Karpovtsev even speak English at the time? And one point you seem to have ignored is the fact that ZUBOV LED THE TEAM IN SCORING. Messier's supposed to be an elite center, and he can't even break Zubov's 89 points in the early 90s?

Hmm. Actually, looking back at it, that was a difficult mark for Messier to hit. He only made it there nine times in his career. Only once did he score more than 60 points during the DPE, when a player with his physical traits would normally have had less trouble than the average player.

Messier is an incredibly overrated player. In 1990 he won the Hart trophy effectively because Jimmy Carson decided he could no longer play for the Oilers. Carson was traded to Detroit for a massive overpayment of wingers, and Messier received an incredible increase in ice time. This is notable because Messier was actually the second-line center on the Oilers during the 88-89 season (Carson centered Kurri and Tikkanen, Messier centered Simpson and Anderson). In 1992 he won the Hart because... New York? I still cannot deduce what possible reason so many voters had to give Messier the 1992 Hart. I get that he's physical. But his defensive game was never great, and was only just rounding into "good" around that time. Mario Lemieux won the Ross and scored more than 2 PPG that year (131 in 64), and wasn't even top three. It boggles the mind. Scoring isn't all there is... but when you score that much, you have to be pretty freaking valuable to your team. Only fifteen times ever has a player played 60+ games and scored 2 PPG or better. Ten times it was Wayne Gretzky, five times it was Mario Lemieux. If you remove entries where one of them lost the Hart to the other who is also above 2 PPG, then we take out Gretzky's 87-88 and Lemieux's 88-89. Which leaves us with eleven Harts in thirteen seasons. The ones who didn't win? Lemieux in 1992 (Messier), and Wayne Gretzky in 1991 (Brett Hull and 86 goals).

If we continue down the field to say 1.8 PPG, we get these results in the next few entries (Hart winner in parenthesis): 1971 Phil Esposito (Bobby Orr), 1990 Gretzky (Messier), 1989 Steve Yzerman and Bernie Nicholls (Gretzky), 1991 Oates (played 61 games, lost to Hull), 1974 Esposito (Esposito won it this time), 1985 Jari Kurri (Gretzky), 1982 Mike Bossy (Gretzky), 1996 Jaromir Jagr (Lemieux).

So of eight more entries, we have five that go away to a 2+ PPG player. That leaves Orr's 139 points over Esposito's 152. Teammates, one of them is a defenseman who plays at both ends and the other is a highly skilled power forward who only sees his goalie before and after games. Tough choice there.

In 1974, Esposito won the Ross by 23 points (145 to Orr's 122), and won the Hart.

And in 1990, Messier edged out Bourque in a controversial Hart vote, and won over Gretzky despite being beaten in the scoring race by 13 points.

And of course there's Hull beating out both Gretzky and his superior yet injured linemate (Oates) in 1991.

So of all times one or more players scored 1.8+ and played 60GP or more, the only times a Hart was won not by one of those players was:

1971 - Bobby Orr, the highest scoring season for a defenseman ever
1990 - Mark Messier, second in scoring by 13 points; 2 points ahead of 3rd (Yzerman)
1991 - Brett Hull, the second highest goal-scoring season ever (86)
1992 - Mark Messier, tied for fifth in scoring (107, Robitaille); 24 points behind leader (Lemieux)

Now, can someone from the "pro-Messier" camp please explain to me why Messier was worthy of those Harts?

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