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10-22-2013, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ted1971 View Post
My top 10:

1. Gretzky
2. Mario
3. Beliveau
4. Morenz
5. Mikita
6. Esposito
7. Nighbor
8. Clarke
9. Trottier

Basically, Mario had a better chance being 3rd then 1st, but I gave Him the benefit of the doubt due to His injuries and Illness. Esposito's peak as the top forward in the game from 1968-75 was too strong for Me to ignore and was possibly over-shadowed by some player named Orr even on His own team. Nighbor was most likely the best 2 way Center in the history of the game and Clarke was right behind Him in most Historian's eyes. Trottier was ranked next due to the fact that Messier played LW until age 23 and held on about 4 years too long and only finished in the top 5 of scoring 3 times in His 23 year career. Out of everyone on My list, numbers 7-10 could change depending on compelling discussions.
I really hate this being used against Messier. Would he be a better player in your eyes if he retired after 1996-97 at the age of 37? I don't think what Messier did after 1997 adds anything to his legacy, but I don't see why it takes anything away, either.

Edit: By comparison, Bryan Trottier's last season as a point-per-game player (in high-scoring 80s) came at the age of 31 and he retired after his age 35 season. He had a brief, mostly unsuccessful comeback at the age of 37. Messier was a Hart finalist at the age of 36.

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