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02-23-2007, 01:16 PM
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I don't entirely place the blame for our recent situation on Messier, just a decent portion of it. No, we didn't really purge anyone while he was here, but if we went with a little less ambitious line-up some of those years we'd have had better picks to work with. As you mentioned, we haven't always used our picks wisely but it's harder to mess up higher picks.
But that less ambitious lineup was not a Messier problem. Even with him gone we haven't gone with a less ambitious lineup, nor did we when he wasn't here from 97-2000.

From 98-2004 the Rangers had 7 first round picks.

They picked 6th, 4th,9th, 10th, 12th, 6th and 19th in those drafts and there were plenty of star players who came after their picks. That falls on the scouting department, not Messier and the lineup.

You don't think Messier's clout had anything to do with all those nights he played over 20 minutes, getting first unit special teams action? There are very few forwards who play over 20 minutes a night and none of them are over 40 years old. I feel like half the time he was hopping over the boards when he felt like it. Who was gonna question him? Ron Low? Bryan Trottier? Sather? No way.
The real problem with those teams were younger/ more capable guys not playing up to their potential, which in a not so surprising outcome, is something that has again hurt this year.

Lindros after one season was essentially a guy who became a fragile shell of his former self. Nedved's career was already in the decline and Holik was never given a proper role here. In one of those season's Messier missed half the season and the outcome was no different. Truth be told, the outcome isn't all that much different this year. What did happen is that Messier became the scape goat for some people even though right now his 20 goals and 40 points is still better than any center not named Nylander on this squad.

Let's be realistic, outside of October-January of last season, this team is not all THAT different than it was. The big difference is that they have more prospects in the cupboard. But you and I both know that if Messier were here he would be blamed for Jagr's up and down performance, for the defense lapses the team is making, for Matt Cullen not finding his niche, for the Tkachuk rumors, for opressing Shanahan, for Renney's stupid decisions, etc. etc.

Players are still failing, young players still aren't taking the team by storm, the team is still hovering around .500, the coaches are still making questionable decisions and life as we know it is still pretty much the same.

The difference? Messier isn't near this team to somehow be the evil catalyst.

And he hardly gave an effort you'd expect from your captain. I can recall so many lazy nights from him. And if was because he just couldn't do it anymore thanm, obviously, he should have just hung them.
So Jagr doesn't seem to be carrying the team this season and Shanahan hasn't been a scoring threat since December, does the same expectation fall on them?

How about the younger guys Messier played with? Nedved? Holik?Lindros? What was there excuses?

The problems on this team went far beyond Messier and they still exist today. The same things we discuss today we discussed then.

Now don't get my wrong Ish, I can at least understand the mindset behind saying he hung on too long, but I'm personally not a fan of just how much the story has grown around here. It's gotten to the point where Messier is almost on a Lex Luther like level.

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