Messier to...The Devils?
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03-06-2013, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hockeytown, MI
Originally Posted by
This is the lineup that won the 2000 Cup:
Elias - Arnott - Sykora
Brylin - Gomez - Mogilny
Nemchinov - Holik - McKay
Pandolfo - Madden - Lemieux
Lemieux played with Gomez until Mogilny was brought in.
These were their PP units:
Arnott - Rafalski
In 2001, Lemieux was replaced by Turner Stevenson at even strength and McKay on the PP.
If they drafted Messier, I could see him taking Brylin's place as second line LW if his ego could handle it. He could have taken faceoffs for Gomez too. Brylin would have probably bumped Nemchinov from the lineup. Messier also probably takes Holik's spot as center of the first PP.
They obviously didn't need him in 2000, but would have have made the difference in 2001? Anything's possible I guess.
I could see him doing one of two things: drawing penalties against Podein or playing an aggressive physical role against Drury/Hinote/Nieminen. He was still good enough offensively that without facing some match-ups (because Hartley didn't do much to shield his players from Robinson's line-matching), he still could have been an effective player (as he was in both 2000 and 2001).
It would be a good fit, and like Claude Lemieux before him (who is a big-time alpha male leader himself), at one point he and Stevens would probably have a conversation/shouting-match that would bond them. Good fit in New Jersey, had he gone the Bourque route of accepting a trade and re-signing. But he wasn't going to leave a team in the playoff race (Vancouver 2000) that late in the season. That was a good Vancouver roster after all of the changes in 1998 and 1999, and they were just a few points out.
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