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Eric Lindros vs. Mark Messier - Who was more dominant in his prime?

View Poll Results: Eric Lindros vs. Mark Messier - Who was more dominant in his prime?
Eric Lindros 159 67.66%
Mark Messier 76 32.34%
Voters: 235. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
12-28-2012, 05:33 PM
  #101
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
I don't think it's particularly shocking for a team with a 3.83/.876 goaltender to have a low even-strength goal differential (+5). Hell, Glenn Anderson was a -16. Though it's cool if people don't want to look at the playoffs - I mean, who cares if someone dominates there.
Glenn Anderson could sure be a floater and was never mistaken for a defensive hockey player in his life.

Click on the plus/minus list for that entire team and tell me that you are not surprised on how low he ranks. It certainly raises some questions as to why don't you think?

As for playoffs sure they are important but it's more fair and easier to compare players peaks, primes ect using the regular season as every team has the same opportunity in the regular season.

People can bring in playoffs if they want but it's a different question then IMO.

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12-28-2012, 05:45 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't understand the posts that say Lindros had a better scoring touch than Messier. Statistically, he really didn't.
I can see it, especially if they are referring to goal scoring as the Moose arguably had his 3 best goal scoring seasons outside of his prime. (In terms of counting stats and if they consider prime consecutive seasons).

Lindros had an extremely good goal scoring rate in his 1st 7 seasons and was still 7th best in his prime despite all of the games he missed.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...order_by=goals

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12-28-2012, 05:48 PM
  #103
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Messier

I think Messier hurt his rep playing about 5 years too long. Messier was a better all around player and that is one reason he is considered a legand and Messier 6 rings to Lindros's--how many cup rings did Lindros get? Messier dragged a few of the teams to finish line

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12-28-2012, 06:53 PM
  #104
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and Messier 6 rings to Lindros's--how many cup rings did Lindros get?
Absolutely irrelevent. How many cup rings for Colin Fraser? How many for Marcel Dionne?

Although yeah - Mess was an awesome playoff leader.

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12-28-2012, 07:20 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Glenn Anderson could sure be a floater and was never mistaken for a defensive hockey player in his life.

Click on the plus/minus list for that entire team and tell me that you are not surprised on how low he ranks. It certainly raises some questions as to why don't you think?

As for playoffs sure they are important but it's more fair and easier to compare players peaks, primes ect using the regular season as every team has the same opportunity in the regular season.

People can bring in playoffs if they want but it's a different question then IMO.
The question is, 'best prime' ... I fail to see how prime shoudl mean, 'no playoffs'. Reaks of selectivism to ensure the result you want.

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12-28-2012, 08:21 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
The question is, 'best prime' ... I fail to see how prime shoudl mean, 'no playoffs'. Reaks of selectivism to ensure the result you want.
Well usually when we talk about prime we are talking about a guys regular season career or do i have that wrong?

For the current question sure Moose was the better playoff performer but his team won and usually went further than Lindros because his team was set up better for the playoffs as well.

Lindros didn't suck in the playoffs either.

Some guys prime in regular season and playoffs don't happen at the same time either, take Potvin for instance.

Well it's actually his peak that is at different times but you get my point right?

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12-28-2012, 11:31 PM
  #107
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Well usually when we talk about prime we are talking about a guys regular season career or do i have that wrong?
You have that wrong.

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12-29-2012, 02:20 AM
  #108
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The guy with the Stanley Cup ring ...

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08-03-2013, 06:26 PM
  #109
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More accomplished: Messier

Who was the better player: Lindros

Who was the more dominant: Messier


This one is hard to define because the geometry of the game changed significantly from the 80s to the 90s. The 80s was an era of huge scoring. The 90s,...not as much. So statistical comparisons need to be calibrated.

I think by the time Lindros reached his prime, there were enough physical defenders that could also eat up space, far more than what Messier saw in his prime. So even though they had similar games, it was more of an uphill fight for Lindros. But even with that, he could impose his will physically. But this is also why his career was so short.

Part of this is a discussion on how the game changed from the 80s to the 90s. Just look at a vintage game on the NHL network from the 80s and look at it compared to the 90s, especially late 90s. The speed/size evolution of defensemen is huge during this time. The 80s was the highest scoring era in the history of hockey. Players had so much less space when on offense. Not only that, but the hits became far more vicious. The 90s were, perhaps, best characterized by this quote, "this isn't ballroom dancing". Which is what an NHL official said in reaction to a cheap shot from Sutter laying out Paul Kariya.

The 90s was like an overcompensation for the 80s and players like Lidros paid the price for it. Yeah, Lindros initiated some of it himself, but he was going against the house playing at this time.

If dominance is general impact (physicality and statisics), it's Messier. If its raw physicality and skill, it's Lindros.

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08-03-2013, 08:39 PM
  #110
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
You have that wrong.
So does it matter if the prime of the regular season and playoffs don't overlap like in the case of Potvin?

Is it better if it is a consecutive peak or just the best 5-7 seasons spread out over 20? Consistency should matter at least a bit right?

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08-03-2013, 10:14 PM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Messier points finishes: 2, 3, 5, 5, 7, 10
Lindros points finishes: 1, 6, 7

Messier PPG finishes: 3, 3, 7, 7, 7, 8, 10, 10, 10
Lindros PPG finishes: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 9, 9

Lindros does have an advantage in regular season peak per-game finishes, though he competed against prime Gretzky and Lemieux less often than Messier did.
an old point, but i'm going to run all of messier's and lindros' numbers with gretzky and mario removed and then see how they compare.


here are their points/game finishes in all of their respective PPG seasons, without gretzky and mario:


messier: 39, 6, 9, 41*, 11, 1, 6, 8, 1, 14, 5, 22, 28, 11, 9, 6

lindros: 20, 2, 1, 2, 1, 6, 4, 9, DNP**, 9

* technically, 54 points in 55 games

** including lindros' DNP year because without that, all seasons for both guys are consecutive; messier ages 21-36, lindros ages 19-28

---

here's the side-by-side comparison in order of placement, taking out messier's sub-top 20 placements:

messier: 1, 1, 5, 6, 6, 6, 8, 9, 9, 11, 11, 14

lindros: 1, 1, 2, 2, 4, 6, 9, 9, 20

so if we're just looking at PPG and disregarding games played, lindros has a sustained four year stretch at a level that messier only occasionally hits.

---

if we want to make lindros look even better, this is what it looks like when we also take out jagr:

messier: 1, 1, 5, 5, 6, 6, 8, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14

lindros: 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 8, 20

i don't think it's fair to discount jagr, but i know some might want to see what that looks like.

---

here are the PPG finishes (in actual chronological order), with games played in parentheses for the seasons below 70 (with jagr put back in):

messier: 39, 6, 9, 41 (55), 11 (63), 1, 6, 8, 1, 14 (53), 5, 22, 28, 11, 9, 6

lindros: 20 (61), 2 (65), 1, 2, 1 (52), 6 (63), 4, 9 (55), DNP, 9

notice that messier's lowest PPG seasons in his 20s and early 30s are ones where he missed significant time, whereas nagging injuries to lindros don't seem to have effected his PPG during his '94-'97 peak. make of that information what you will.

---

but here's the rub. this is the side-by-side PPG finishes if we discount seasons below 60 games played (again, minus gretzky and mario, but with jagr):

messier: 1, 1, 5, 6, 6, 6, 8, 9, 9, 11, 11, 11, 14

lindros: 1, 2, 2, 4, 6, 9, 20

---

this is the side-by-side if we discount seasons below 65 games played:

messier: 1, 1, 5, 6, 6, 6, 8, 9, 9, 11, 11, 11, 14

lindros: 1, 2, 2, 4, 9

---

this is the side-by-side if we discount seasons below 70 (hell, below 66) games played:

messier: 1, 1, 5, 6, 6, 6, 8, 9, 9, 11*, 11, 11, 14

lindros: 1*, 2, 4, 9

and this is where messier pulls definitively ahead, even on PPG.

* and let us not, of course, forget that this was the 48 game lockout year

---

now, having followed all of these numbers, the question seems to be what are we considering "prime."

i can accept the argument that on the very best days of their lives, when both guys got good nights of sleep, were in peak physical form, had their heads completely clear of distractions and anxieties and nerves, lindros was more dominant than messier. that's too narrow of a sample for even "peak," but to me that's the only definition of "prime" where you could say lindros was more dominant with any degree of definitiveness.

- over their best full year, counting playoffs, you'd have to say 1990 messier > 1996 or '97 lindros.

- over their best regular season, i'm willing to entertain arguments that 73/82 games of lindros was better than 79/80 games of messier. i don't agree with that necessarily, but i can't toss it out either. but i think we can all agree that it's close, given that messier did finish ahead of lindros in hart voting during lindros' best full(-ish) regular season, and that that wasn't close to messier's best regular season. so maybe, maybe not, but certainly not definitive. and, furthermore, one single season is still too short to really count as "prime," or again even "peak."

- and then if we start to look at their best three consecutive years, which is about as small as can reasonably counted as a "prime," we're talking 171/212 games (average of 66/82) of lindros vs. 211/240 (average of 72/82) of messier.

that comparison, minus gretzky and mario:

messier -- 3rd in PPG, 5th in total points, 2 harts, 10th in playoff PPG (minimum 10 GP), 2nd in total playoff points, 1 cup

lindros -- 2nd in PPG, 4th in total points, 1 hart, 6th in playoff PPG, 3rd in total playoff points, 1 finals

reasonably close.

- now best five consecutive years:

360/400 (average of 74/82) of messier vs. 299/378 (average of 65/82) of lindros

messier -- 2nd in PPG, 3rd in total points, 3rd in playoff PPG (minimum of 10 GP), 2 harts, 1st in total playoff points (even including gretzky and mario), 2 cups

lindros -- 2nd in PPG, 3rd in total points, 1 hart, 5th in playoff PPG, 13th in total playoff points (behind messier in the same timeframe, who was 5th), 1 finals

at this point, regular season per game and raw totals are identical, so the fact that lindros was missing 1/5 of every season starts to allow messier to definitively pull ahead, right? i mean, hard for lindros to dominate games he's not playing-- and this is before even starting to talk about playoffs.

- i could go on with best seven year stretch, but what's the point? that was almost lindros' entire meaningful career and it's clear that the longer the span the farther ahead messier will come.

---

some of these numbers i just ran surprised even me. what this all adds up to, i think, is twofold: 1. that messier's value becomes more demonstrable over longer hauls (full seasons vs. abbreviated ones, longer stretches of years vs. shorter ones) which is obviously not the case with lindros, and 2. that some of us tend to forget just how much messier owned his prime.

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08-04-2013, 07:50 AM
  #112
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At their peaks/best, messier isn't even deserving of being in the conversation.

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08-04-2013, 08:28 AM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
I like to vote against Messier a lot, but I'm not sure which way to go here really. The short answer is Lindros I think. But then I think back to the playoffs that these guys had...Messier was the bully, regardless of the situation, down 3-0 to the Isles in the '83 Finals, it's Messier that goes out there and just starts mashing faces...whether it was productive or dirty or tone-setting, it happened.

Lindros, I seem to recall getting picked on during the playoffs. Like Joe Thornton. The Lightning using Michel Petit, Igor Ulanov and other hard-hitting annoyances out there against him, they picked on him after the play, away from the play and just kind of threw sticks and stones at him until he crumbled. Darius Kasparaitis and Tomas Sandstrom in Pittsburgh, they picked on him. Not the other way around.

That's the only thing that's really keeping me from voting Lindros. The images in my head of Lindros of being the object bullying in the crunch instead of the bully, like Messier was.
Don Cherry will have a jammer if he reads about Euro's and a Frenchie being mean to Eric!!! Better edit it.

This is an interesting thread, with many interesting responses. I read one "AINEC" on here, but other than that, really a good read.

I'm not voting, can't say I have a confident opinion, either.

I think between what you and Vadim said, there is a really good point -

I would say that Eric was stronger and bigger, and a better fighter, but the league got bigger and stronger, too - so perhaps Messier was as strong per era.

And I don't know if its the big Russian integration, or if i'm simply hungover with 3 hours sleep, an unapologetic Euro-lover, AND your post put me over the edge, but I really think those guys brought such a hard game to pinpoint from across the water.

So many of these Russians, well we just didn't give them credit for how insanely strong their legs are/were. I think because they don't fight very much, and because we're macho as a country about hockey, no one ever really said it then, but so many of them were/are SO strong.

In a developmental world view, I credit Eastern Europe's profound interest in Olympic lifting to be a major reason. I think athlete's there have always done it.

I also think they don't have baseball or our football, and I think that impedes their learning of something we take for granted - that motion of the overhand throw, power from the back foot through the hip, and through the shoulder. Translates really well to punching. I think nearly every North American can throw a decent haymaker.

Watch Semin punch, or even a good, strong tough Euro defenseman. Or watch Ovie throw a pitch - YIKES! We take that motion for granted here. And they likely take throwing big weight overhead and catching it in an overhead squat for granted.

Edit - WOW, I went off the deep end. I'm lobbying for Killion's spot when he retires.

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08-04-2013, 12:29 PM
  #114
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Edit - WOW, I went off the deep end. I'm lobbying for Killion's spot when he retires.
Not at all, nice stream of conscious thoughts, kinda like a trip without leavin home huh? Thats what Im here for. To enable, support such. Not for the feint of heart but hey, if it aint dangerous not much fun. Edges sharp, head up, stick on the ice.... carry on.

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08-04-2013, 12:57 PM
  #115
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Not at all, nice stream of conscious thoughts, kinda like a trip without leavin home huh? Thats what Im here for. To enable, support such. Not for the feint of heart but hey, if it aint dangerous not much fun. Edges sharp, head up, stick on the ice.... carry on.
lol, yep - I've still got a ways to go.

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08-04-2013, 04:54 PM
  #116
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At their peaks/best, messier isn't even deserving of being in the conversation.
Do you remember Messier at his best though? My post in this thread talks in great deal about him in 1990. You had the best of both worlds with Messier that year. I personally don't think Lindros had an individual season as good as Messier's in 1990. We don't have a lot to choose from with Lindros, but 1995 and 1996 come to mind. The rest he was injured too much in order to pick a year. Messier wins the Hart, finishes 2nd in scoring, captains the Oilers to the Cup and has a Smythe worthy year. Lindros never had a year like that.

Throw in the fact that while Lindros was more feared on the physical side of things Messier was also more feared when it came to doing what it takes to win. Those little intangibles put Messier ahead in my opinion. I also think his own teammates would be more afraid to fail around him than they would have with Lindros. Messier was a throwback, even in his own era, of a player who focuses solely on winning. For whatever reason Lindros eventually self destructed when the chips were down, and in a way we all were expecting it.

When did Messier ever have a playoff year where he just self destructed?

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08-04-2013, 09:36 PM
  #117
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Do you remember Messier at his best though? My post in this thread talks in great deal about him in 1990. You had the best of both worlds with Messier that year. I personally don't think Lindros had an individual season as good as Messier's in 1990. We don't have a lot to choose from with Lindros, but 1995 and 1996 come to mind. The rest he was injured too much in order to pick a year. Messier wins the Hart, finishes 2nd in scoring, captains the Oilers to the Cup and has a Smythe worthy year. Lindros never had a year like that.

Throw in the fact that while Lindros was more feared on the physical side of things Messier was also more feared when it came to doing what it takes to win. Those little intangibles put Messier ahead in my opinion. I also think his own teammates would be more afraid to fail around him than they would have with Lindros. Messier was a throwback, even in his own era, of a player who focuses solely on winning. For whatever reason Lindros eventually self destructed when the chips were down, and in a way we all were expecting it.

When did Messier ever have a playoff year where he just self destructed?
Look Moose wins the playoff battle between these 2 guys but to be fair his teams and him almost always had better support and were better set up for playoff success if we take both Moose and Eric off of their respective teams And it's not really even close.

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08-05-2013, 04:34 AM
  #118
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Do you remember Messier at his best though? My post in this thread talks in great deal about him in 1990. You had the best of both worlds with Messier that year. I personally don't think Lindros had an individual season as good as Messier's in 1990. We don't have a lot to choose from with Lindros, but 1995 and 1996 come to mind. The rest he was injured too much in order to pick a year. Messier wins the Hart, finishes 2nd in scoring, captains the Oilers to the Cup and has a Smythe worthy year. Lindros never had a year like that.

Throw in the fact that while Lindros was more feared on the physical side of things Messier was also more feared when it came to doing what it takes to win. Those little intangibles put Messier ahead in my opinion. I also think his own teammates would be more afraid to fail around him than they would have with Lindros. Messier was a throwback, even in his own era, of a player who focuses solely on winning. For whatever reason Lindros eventually self destructed when the chips were down, and in a way we all were expecting it.

When did Messier ever have a playoff year where he just self destructed?
Please, one player can not do this alone. Messier had better teams, end of discussion.

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08-05-2013, 04:51 AM
  #119
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I love Messier and he tops Lindros in a ton of areas and I think he tops every single player ever playing in this league in some other areas.

But, Lindros in his prime was IMHO better than Messier in his prime.

Messier was a darn good hockey player, but he was never about playing the perfect 60 minutes of hockey. He was about winning the cup. Leading a team to the cup. Lindros was a force of nature who never won a cup for a reason... He never had the purpose Messier had etc. You become a winner by winning, and Messier became maybe the greatest "winner" in the sense of the word. But Lindros was the more talented player.

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08-05-2013, 08:50 AM
  #120
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Messier

I think Messier hurt his rep playing about 5 years too long. Messier was a better all around player and that is one reason he is considered a legand and Messier 6 rings to Lindros's--how many cup rings did Lindros get? Messier dragged a few of the teams to finish line
leaving NY one year after Gretzky came, only to do absolutely nothing in Vancouver, didn't help either

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08-05-2013, 11:59 AM
  #121
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Look Moose wins the playoff battle between these 2 guys but to be fair his teams and him almost always had better support and were better set up for playoff success if we take both Moose and Eric off of their respective teams And it's not really even close.
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Please, one player can not do this alone. Messier had better teams, end of discussion.
The quality of their respective teams does not explain away the huge edge Messier has in the playoffs.

To put it another way; adjust for team strength however you want, Messier still wins this walking away.

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08-05-2013, 07:16 PM
  #122
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Look Moose wins the playoff battle between these 2 guys but to be fair his teams and him almost always had better support and were better set up for playoff success if we take both Moose and Eric off of their respective teams And it's not really even close.
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Please, one player can not do this alone. Messier had better teams, end of discussion.
Take Messier's two highest scoring playoff years. That alone adds up to more than Lindros had for his WHOLE playoff career. Strong teams or not, that is a substantial difference beyond epic proportions that can't be narrowed. Lindros certainly had a team that was capable of winning the Stanley Cup.

Hardy, how in the world can you say "its not really even close." There isn't anything Lindros did that Messier didn't do. Both won a Hart, both finished 2nd in scoring once. Lindros was more feared for his body while Messier was more feared for his willingness to do anything to win. Where is this edge Lindros had, because I can't see it.

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08-05-2013, 07:41 PM
  #123
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Lindros, Eric

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08-06-2013, 08:42 AM
  #124
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I don't see how "being feared" or being dirty has anything to do with who was the better player. Mess had better prime and career, but Lindros had a slightly higher peak.

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08-06-2013, 01:59 PM
  #125
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If I could have either player on my team, in his prime, I'd have to take Lindros. There had never been a player with his combination of attributes - size, skill, speed, physicality, meanness. I don't think anyone's come very close to him since.

Messier had the better career, by far, but that's not the question the OP posed.

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