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Messier Vs Yzerman

View Poll Results: Better Career
Mark Messier 68 65.38%
Steve Yzerman 36 34.62%
Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
12-15-2012, 08:33 AM
  #51
toob
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
wait, you mean yzerman should have been on the 2nd team in '93? ahead of lafontaine who helped raise the production of mogilny and andreychuk to new and unforeseen levels, adam oates who played with two rookies and got one of them 100 points, and gilmour who played with nikolai borschevsky and a broken down glenn anderson? i mean, if we're going to play the bad linemates card, oates did more with less. and not to say yzerman wasn't awesome in '93 but come on, lafontaine, gilmour, and oates all had years for the ages.

also, how can you say with a straight face that prime gallant and paul maclean weren't much better linemates than quinn and rob brown? obviously, coffey makes a difference too, but we're talking about two big and tough 40 goal wingers to create space for him vs. two all-time anti-intangibles guys that mario coaxed ridiculous, never-to-be-repeated years from. surely you concede that mario's wingers were only 5th and 12th in points because of him, don't you?

and yes, yzerman was much better offensively than messier. no one doubts that. but messier DID steal a hart from prime mario. that should indicate to you that he has intangibles that put him ahead of yzerman. and i say this as someone who likes yzerman and has never hated any hockey player more than i hate messier.
Gallant wasnt big at all. Scrappy as hell and tough for his size yes. And while MacLean was big he didnt play the game that Gallant did so. Agree that Gallant was a good if non-talented mucker on the wing in the late 80s until his back did him, but Maclean specifically dried up a lot at the end of 89 (see the THN article which refers to this specifically). The difference between Coffey and Chaisson is absolutely enormous though.

In 93 while Dino was the first legit scoring winger Yzerman had the LW had a lot to be desired. They even played a very injured Gallant on Yzerman's wing for quite some time in 93. And Oates had Bourque on the blueline for the whole year. Yeah Yzerman got Coffey for the last 30 games but then again when he got Coffey and got the icetime of the departed Carson his numbers exploded to a pace Oates never saw and he made up a lot of ground to finish close to him when he had been behind by quite a lot for most of the year.

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12-15-2012, 11:05 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by habsfanatics View Post
Messier was never in the running for 3rd best player in the world behind Lemieux and Gretzky.
Is this some kind of joke? You know some of us followed hockey from 1987-1996, right?

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12-15-2012, 12:23 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by toob View Post
Gallant wasnt big at all. Scrappy as hell and tough for his size yes. And while MacLean was big he didnt play the game that Gallant did so. Agree that Gallant was a good if non-talented mucker on the wing in the late 80s until his back did him, but Maclean specifically dried up a lot at the end of 89 (see the THN article which refers to this specifically). The difference between Coffey and Chaisson is absolutely enormous though.

In 93 while Dino was the first legit scoring winger Yzerman had the LW had a lot to be desired. They even played a very injured Gallant on Yzerman's wing for quite some time in 93. And Oates had Bourque on the blueline for the whole year. Yeah Yzerman got Coffey for the last 30 games but then again when he got Coffey and got the icetime of the departed Carson his numbers exploded to a pace Oates never saw and he made up a lot of ground to finish close to him when he had been behind by quite a lot for most of the year.
i stand corrected. i always thought gallant was a big power forward, but now that i look it up, he was only 5'10", 190 lbs.

Quote:
Looking for an All Star power forward who, in his prime, averaged 37 goals, 80 points and 236 PIMs a year? Look no farther than Gerard Gallant.

One of the few natives of Prince Edward Island to play in the National Hockey League, Gerard Gallant was competitive, chippy, sometimes dirty player. His game was as a no-nonsense, up and down winger with good hockey sense and he absolutely hated to lose. Although he was only 5'10" and 185 pounds, he played like he was 6'3" and 215 pounds. One of Detroit's "Bad Boys" with the likes of Joey Kocur and Bob Probert, Gallant became a fixture on superstar Steve Yzerman's left wing in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Although he was certainly no heavyweight, he showed up every night and kept the opposition honest. Much like Kevin Dineen, Gallant showed up to the rink every single night determined that no one would out hustle him that game. But Gallant also had the finesse tools to play with one of the league's most electrifying players in Yzerman.
i guess my very early memories, as well as the way he played so much bigger than he was, seems to be playing tricks on my recollection. (now that i look it up, i always thought kevin dineen was a lot bigger than he was too; if you'd asked me five minutes ago, i would told you dineen was at least 6'1", 210 lbs.)

what THN article on paul maclean are you talking about? do you have a link or a quote? couldn't find it upthread.

in three years (with WPG, DET, then STL, at ages 29-31), he scored 40, 36, and 34 goals. for the era, not superstar stuff. but on paper he doesn't look washed up when yzerman had him.

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12-15-2012, 02:42 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i stand corrected. i always thought gallant was a big power forward, but now that i look it up, he was only 5'10", 190 lbs.



i guess my very early memories, as well as the way he played so much bigger than he was, seems to be playing tricks on my recollection. (now that i look it up, i always thought kevin dineen was a lot bigger than he was too; if you'd asked me five minutes ago, i would told you dineen was at least 6'1", 210 lbs.)

what THN article on paul maclean are you talking about? do you have a link or a quote? couldn't find it upthread.

in three years (with WPG, DET, then STL, at ages 29-31), he scored 40, 36, and 34 goals. for the era, not superstar stuff. but on paper he doesn't look washed up when yzerman had him.
Yeah for Gallant like i said all ive read about this guy seems to indicate he was scrappy as hell before his injury. And while one of Yzerman's problems in the early 90s is both his wingers were always changing in the late 80s at least he had a consistent guy in Gallant.

For Maclean here was the THN article, sorry the print is so small.


The relevant part reads near the top "By season's end, Yzerman was a butterfly without wings. On the right, Paul Maclean went in the tank for the final 35 games. On the left, Gerard Gallant accomplished little in the final 20. With even a little help from his flanks, Yzerman would have finished even closer to Gretzky and Lemieux in the scoring race."

This statement seems to check out in Maclean's stats:
October 11 7 3 10
November 13 5 11 16
December 14 11 10 21
January 12 6 2 8
February 13 2 6 8
March 12 5 3 8
April 1 0 0 0

Those last 4 months (38 games i didnt bother to check the actual 35 figure) show a pretty steep decline It doesnt seem based on the St Louis stats you pointed out that Maclean was washed up so maybe he was just on a cold streak.

But Maclean was certainly an improvement over the various wings that Yzerman had in the following year. At least Kocur had by far his best year statistically due to Maclean's absence.

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12-15-2012, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by habsfanatics View Post
Adjusted numbers need not to be applied. Yzerman was a greater force offensively and defensively imo. He doesn't have the accolades of Messier, but he was without a doubt a more offensively gifted player. Selke voting suggests he was better defensively as well, although award voting is often suspect, I think Yzerman's selke votes were justified, unlike Messiers harts. Cups and other things suggest Messier was on better teams during their peak years.

Messier was never in the running for 3rd best player in the world behind Lemieux and Gretzky.
It really seems that to favor Yzerman in this comparison, you have to believe that he deserved his Selke votes, but Messier didn't deserve his Hart votes, even though they come from the exact same voting pool.

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12-15-2012, 03:40 PM
  #56
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It really seems that to favor Yzerman in this comparison, you have to believe that he deserved his Selke votes, but Messier didn't deserve his Hart votes, even though they come from the exact same voting pool.
I don't take the voting too seriously tbh, but I do think Yzerman was worthy of the Selke and there are very strong arguments against Messier's Harts imo. The fact that the committee gets some right and a bunch wrong doesn't change that. I'm basing this on the seasons they played respectively and not on the credibility of the voters.

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12-15-2012, 03:47 PM
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Have always thought Yzerman was the better player by a pretty clear margin (even if "better" doesn't always mean more "effective"), and even a better leader/example for younger players, but Messier just has too much career value to "lose" this one, imo. Kinda sad but true.

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12-15-2012, 03:58 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It really seems that to favor Yzerman in this comparison, you have to believe that he deserved his Selke votes, but Messier didn't deserve his Hart votes, even though they come from the exact same voting pool.
That doesnt seem to be the case at all. Aside from the fact that the voting pool most certainly seems to have changed throughout the early 80s to the early 00s in terms of ballots and ballot format, and also most likely changed in terms of writers themselves, we can see implicit changes in voting standards throughout the years. And of course that different years have different competition for the Hart. It seems very doubtful that Messier would finish 1st/2nd/3rd had his 90/92/96 years occurred in 89.

Since most people concede that Yzerman was better offensively even without accounting for his worse context (and the only counterargument about racking up points in the Norris division is completely unsubstantiated as not only throughout the period but at a year by year standard Yzerman does significantly better in goal scoring/point production against other divisions), in order to make a conclusion that Messier's two way game was notably above Yzerman's before the mid 90s you need to put a lot of stock that Messier got a mere handful more of Selke votes from a large period of 84-94 (a more reasonable conclusion is that both players simply had almost non existent support for the Selke). Or that anecdotes about Messier's complete play, which seem to focus a lot on his physicality, can be extrapolated to provide evidence of a two-way game, while ignoring that Yzerman has the same types anecdotes going for him, and they don't focus on physicality either. Or that Messier's matchup against Trottier early in his career proves the same thing, while ignoring that Yzerman had a similar matchup against Gretzky early in his career.

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12-15-2012, 05:37 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by toob View Post
Or that Messier's matchup against Trottier early in his career proves the same thing, while ignoring that Yzerman had a similar matchup against Gretzky early in his career.
For clarification, you are referring to the 1987 series during which Wayne Gretzky was playing with a concussion suffered in the final game of the previous round, yes? Because I'd strongly suggest that Dale Hawerchuk's pull-down did a better job of suppressing Gretzky's offense than the Yzerman matchup.

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12-15-2012, 06:19 PM
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Messier has better career and playoffs. Yzerman better peak and prime.

Esposito gets blasted for having Orr, while Messier played with Gretzky (as a LW, and on PP), as well as peak Coffey, who was just about as good as Orr, offensively....

Yzerman had very, very little throughout his peak and much of his prime... I was told as much as 20% reduction should apply to Esposito, should this also apply to Messier when compared to Yzerman? Making Yzerman essentially a 180+ pt player at his peak?

The 20% seems too much, but I like 10%. I was just bringing it up for some consistency.

Either way, Harts or not, Yzerman's offensive peak and prime destroys Messier's, just like Esposito's, but in this case it is Messier who benefits from the whole teamate equation, even after losing Gretzky and Coffey - Messier had two Hall of Fame linemates on either side of him.

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12-15-2012, 06:22 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
For clarification, you are referring to the 1987 series during which Wayne Gretzky was playing with a concussion suffered in the final game of the previous round, yes? Because I'd strongly suggest that Dale Hawerchuk's pull-down did a better job of suppressing Gretzky's offense than the Yzerman matchup.
First of all i would caution against going all Dr Recchi is it confirmed that Gretzky actually had a concussion?

But you can strongly suggest it if you want but it leaves a lot to be answered if it is suggested. The game recaps posted pretty clearly state that it was the Red Wings team D that frustrated not only Gretzky but his winger Kurri and the rest of the Oilers in 87. Those same recaps and articles state that Yzerman was a big part of that, and explicitly note that he was not only matched up against Gretzky, but played a big part in keeping him away from the net. So injury or no injury it seems clear that Yzerman was a pretty large factor. I couldnt find mention of Gretzky's injury though.

Going beyond this, the small amount of rest between the Detroit and Philly series seems to have rejuvenated Gretzky enough to get back in form. Concussions ARE tricky injuries but if Gretzky had one i dont think it would be enough to explain the coincidental jump in his stats when he played against Philly, who from what ive read had a very hot goalie and strong team D themselves.

Lastly i took a look and Trottier in 84 doesnt seem to have a great playoff statistically at least compared to his others.

Trottier vs Edmonton: 5 games 2 goals 2 assists (.8 ppg)
game 1: scoreless
game 2: 2g 1a
game 3: 1a
game 4: scoreless
game 5: scoreless
Trottier vs rest: 16 games 6 goals 4 assists (.625 ppg)

Gretzky vs Detroit: 5 games 0 goals 2 assists (.4 ppg)
game 1: scoreless
game 2: 1a
game 3: scoreless
game 4: 1a
game 5: scoreless
Gretzky vs rest: 16 games 5 goals 27 assists (2.0 ppg)

Trottier seems to have statistically performed better vs Edmonton than throughout the playoffs. Gretzky much worse vs Detroit than throughout the playoffs.

This is all aside from the fact that one guy is Gretzky and the other is Trottier.

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12-15-2012, 06:32 PM
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Yzerman rarely gets the "what if" treatment around here - but he should.

His career is absolutely chock-full of severe injuries, with one of the biggest differences from many other players being that Yzerman played through them, more often than not.

In a sport where players regularly play through injuries that would have most of us sidelined from our desk job, Yzerman earned the distinction of being singled out by Scotty Bowman as having the highest pain tolerance of any player he has ever seen. Yzerman very easily could have retired from the game by 32... And maybe he would appear even more legendary today if he had.

His PPG and playoff PPG took a severe beating simply because he was out on the ice when no other mortal man could have. Literally.

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12-15-2012, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Messier has better career and playoffs. Yzerman better peak and prime.

Esposito gets blasted for having Orr, while Messier played with Gretzky (as a LW, and on PP), as well as peak Coffey, who was just about as good as Orr, offensively....

Yzerman had very, very little throughout his peak and much of his prime... I was told as much as 20% reduction should apply to Esposito, should this also apply to Messier when compared to Yzerman? Making Yzerman essentially a 180+ pt player at his peak?

The 20% seems too much, but I like 10%. I was just bringing it up for some consistency.

Either way, Harts or not, Yzerman's offensive peak and prime destroys Messier's, just like Esposito's, but in this case it is Messier who benefits from the whole teamate equation, even after losing Gretzky and Coffey - Messier had two Hall of Fame linemates on either side of him.
I agree with all of this, and if we're judging strictly on who was the better player. I think it's Yzerman. If we're judging who had the better career, it's Messier, but not as staggering some seem to suggest.

I tend to rank peak/prime more heavily than longevity/career, unless the peaks/primes are too close to differentiate and if one player has a substancially less overall body of work. I think Messier definately trumps Yzerman in a few of these categories, but to me, when judging the best players, I lean towards evaluating them both at their best. I think at their absolute bests, Yzerman is ahead rather easily. I couldn't care less about what was accomplished in the latter part of careers, or who did what slightly longer when comparing two long careers on both sides.

The team strength has to be accounted for here as well. During Messier's peak his team/teams were a dominate force, at Yzerman's peak, he was almost alone. These things have an enormous impact.

I know with Orr everyone just ignores longevity and his shortened career, mainly because he was so far ahead of the rest during his playing time, which I have no problem with and support, but when it comes to other players, they don't seem to get the same benefits, I know Orr was great enough to separate from the rest in his shortened tenure, but there needs to be a balance somewhere. It seems entirely based on where your ideas and beliefs are entrenched, some argue that Orr's shortened career is enough to propel him over Gretzky, who is pretty much a peak/prime equal, with a substantially greater career. Then they turn around and throw their own criteria out the window and vote someone ahead of a better player based on their career, it's puzzling to say the least.

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12-15-2012, 08:37 PM
  #64
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First of all i would caution against going all Dr Recchi is it confirmed that Gretzky actually had a concussion?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Associated Press, April 28, 1987
Gretzky lost his helmet in the collision with Hawerchuk. He was helped to the dressing room and didn't return to the game. A spokesman said that the All-Star center had suffered a mild concussion.

Gretzky said Hawerchuk deliberately tried to hurt him. ''I was really surprised,'' said the Edmonton captain, who had an egg-sized lump on the left side of his head.
http://www.nytimes.com/1987/04/28/sp...ep-series.html




With all due respect, toob, this is a famous play in hockey history. It's bad enough I have to argue that a concussion had an impact on a player's performance in the five games that followed - I shouldn't have to prove to you that it happened.


You see, that's the thing about physical play that Messier's detractors seem to not understand when they try to sum up his play with offensive statistics. It's like the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching a man how to fish: Taking away the puck stops the play, but taking a man's block off stops his series.

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12-15-2012, 08:45 PM
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Yzerman rarely gets the "what if" treatment around here - but he should.
With all of the times people try to look at his career under the umbrella of What If Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux did not exist? we both know that this is not a true statement.


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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
His career is absolutely chock-full of severe injuries, with one of the biggest differences from many other players being that Yzerman played through them, more often than not.

In a sport where players regularly play through injuries that would have most of us sidelined from our desk job, Yzerman earned the distinction of being singled out by Scotty Bowman as having the highest pain tolerance of any player he has ever seen. Yzerman very easily could have retired from the game by 32... And maybe he would appear even more legendary today if he had.

His PPG and playoff PPG took a severe beating simply because he was out on the ice when no other mortal man could have. Literally.
That's enough of an exaggeration without throwing in the word literally. And let's stop using Scotty Bowman sound bites as definitive evidence, please. Unless you really want to go down that road now that we have his documented opinion on Messier vs. Yzerman...

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12-15-2012, 09:05 PM
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With all of the times people try to look at his career under the umbrella of What If Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux did not exist? we both know that this is not a true statement.




That's enough of an exaggeration without throwing in the word literally. And let's stop using Scotty Bowman sound bites as definitive evidence, please. Unless you really want to go down that road now that we have his documented opinion on Messier vs. Yzerman...
The 'what if' is simply if Yzerman did not play more of half his career with severe injuries.

Are you challenging Yzerman's rare ability to play through more pain than others? It seems well documented to me.

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12-15-2012, 09:07 PM
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Messier placed as a LW 3 times while playing with Gretzky as his center.
Wait, what? Gretzky was not Messier's linemate. That was the whole point of the Oilers' offense: Gretzky on the first line, Messier on the second line.

I seem to recall Messier playing with guys like Hagman, Linseman, Lindstrom, Murdoch, and Hughes. Are we already forgetting that Anderson-Gretzky-Kurri was the famous line prior to Messier moving to Center and stealing Anderson from Gretzky?

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12-15-2012, 09:09 PM
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Are you challenging Yzerman's rare ability to play through more pain than others? It seems well documented to me.
I'm challenging you calling him literally the only mortal man who could be out on the ice when he was.

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12-15-2012, 09:22 PM
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I'm challenging you calling him literally the only mortal man who could be out on the ice when he was.
Not only on the ice, but leading a championship team of Hall of Famers in points, while also being a team leader on the PK. Immediately needing reconstructive surgery on his knee that had never been performed on an active professional athlete in history to that point, usually reserved for seniors with severe osteoporosis, which he also happened to come back from and play several more years.

Take Bowman's player rankings with whatever grain of salt you want, but there is not anything to challenge Yzerman's ability to play through injuries and pain that is extreme even in an extreme sport. Bowman's observations only back up medical fact. Yzerman was a warrior to the extreme, and it makes me laugh to see someone imply Messier's "intangibles" are what separates them.

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12-15-2012, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by habsfanatics View Post
I agree with all of this, and if we're judging strictly on who was the better player. I think it's Yzerman. If we're judging who had the better career, it's Messier, but not as staggering some seem to suggest.

I tend to rank peak/prime more heavily than longevity/career, unless the peaks/primes are too close to differentiate and if one player has a substancially less overall body of work. I think Messier definately trumps Yzerman in a few of these categories, but to me, when judging the best players, I lean towards evaluating them both at their best. I think at their absolute bests, Yzerman is ahead rather easily. I couldn't care less about what was accomplished in the latter part of careers, or who did what slightly longer when comparing two long careers on both sides.

The team strength has to be accounted for here as well. During Messier's peak his team/teams were a dominate force, at Yzerman's peak, he was almost alone. These things have an enormous impact.

I know with Orr everyone just ignores longevity and his shortened career, mainly because he was so far ahead of the rest during his playing time, which I have no problem with and support, but when it comes to other players, they don't seem to get the same benefits, I know Orr was great enough to separate from the rest in his shortened tenure, but there needs to be a balance somewhere. It seems entirely based on where your ideas and beliefs are entrenched, some argue that Orr's shortened career is enough to propel him over Gretzky, who is pretty much a peak/prime equal, with a substantially greater career. Then they turn around and throw their own criteria out the window and vote someone ahead of a better player based on their career, it's puzzling to say the least.
good post.

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12-15-2012, 09:41 PM
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it makes me laugh to see someone imply Messier's "intangibles" are what separates them.
And it makes me laugh to see someone imply that hockey players can be defined by a spreadsheet of offensive statistics. Maybe it doesn't count as a goal or point - something that you can easily understand some 20-30 years later since you didn't see it - but Jamie Macoun, Mike Eaves, Denis Potvin, and Igor Stelnov would have gladly told you how tangible Mark Messier was.

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12-15-2012, 09:46 PM
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tombombadil
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i voted Yzerman, in a pick'em as far as i am concerned, but i can't help but agree that Messier has intangibles. If I had to skate against one, I would be more worried about physical pain with Mess... and his defense is not far off of Y's. I voted Y based on offense, especially with inferior teammates in his big years.

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12-15-2012, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
And it makes me laugh to see someone imply that hockey players can be defined by a spreadsheet of offensive statistics. Maybe it doesn't count as a goal or point - something that you can easily understand some 20-30 years later since you didn't see it - but Jamie Macoun, Mike Eaves, Denis Potvin, and Igor Stelnov would have gladly told you how tangible Mark Messier was.
I'm ready for an "intangibles" no-holds-barred cage match. Bring it on!

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12-15-2012, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I'm ready for an "intangibles" no-holds-barred cage match. Bring it on!
Don't forget to mention that Yzerman was mostly matched up against Lindros in the 1997 Finals.

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12-15-2012, 10:47 PM
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Stevie Y aged better, was diehard to the end, whereas Mess was lion hearted early but faded away; I respect SY more but have no doubt that MM did more and had a greater impact on the game, the seasons and championships, having watched NHL hockey personally since the '70s.

The bitterness in my mouth is biased having seen Messier suckin' in my Vancouver, Yzerman against my Canucks on one bloody leg!! But my judgement remains: Messier was a greater hockey player than Yzerman. (But so bloody few have been in the last third of a century)





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