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Messier Situation in 97

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08-23-2010, 06:10 AM
  #1
MessRich11*
 
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Messier Situation in 97

For all the Ranger fans, what exactly happened with MSG that caused Messier to go to Vancouver? And do you think that Gretzky was a cause of this to happen?

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08-23-2010, 06:17 AM
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jkrx
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Originally Posted by MessRich11 View Post
For all the Ranger fans, what exactly happened with MSG that caused Messier to go to Vancouver? And do you think that Gretzky was a cause of this to happen?
Vaancouver just offered big money for Messier (+ Keenan).

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08-23-2010, 06:38 PM
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seventieslord
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IIRC, it was just a money thing. I loved that Wayne and Mess got back together in New York and I was looking forward to a couple more good seasons. 1997 had to be considered a success with the lineup they had, and it would have been nice to see them take another shot.

My thoughts at the time were, "Wayne took a pay cut last summer just to come play with Mess, and now Mess can't do the same to stay there. Pity."

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08-23-2010, 06:39 PM
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Messier was the backbone of that team, once he left the Rangers went down the toilet.

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08-23-2010, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Messier was the backbone of that team, once he left the Rangers went down the toilet.
...and so did Messier.

I think the two had a bit of a co-dependent relationship going on, and had he stayed, the remainder of his career wouldn't have become such a joke.

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08-23-2010, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
...and so did Messier.

I think the two had a bit of a co-dependent relationship going on, and had he stayed, the remainder of his career wouldn't have become such a joke.
How true.

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08-23-2010, 10:23 PM
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Yeah Gretzky being one of his best buddies was not the cause for him to leave. Even in his exit interview he stated that it hurt to leave for more reasons than just "Wayne". If anything, Gretzky's prescence would have given him more reason to mull it over.

I've never been a big fan of Neil Smith but maybe he saw something at the time that the rest of us didn't. Messier's career went down the gutter after 1997 and while some people wanted him on the Olympic team in 1998 guys like Smith saw the writing on the wall that he was on a clear decline. Smith was right, for once.

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08-24-2010, 01:52 AM
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True. But maybe if Mess had stayed with the Rangers, he probably still would've given them high numbers (at least 30 goals and 40 assists) and the Rangers would've at leats made the playoffs a couple more times.

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08-24-2010, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MessRich11 View Post
True. But maybe if Mess had stayed with the Rangers, he probably still would've given them high numbers (at least 30 goals and 40 assists) and the Rangers would've at leats made the playoffs a couple more times.
More probably around 16-18 goals and 35 As.

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08-24-2010, 02:45 AM
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More probably around 16-18 goals and 35 As.
I don't know playing with Gretzky 30 goals 40 assists is not a stretch.

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08-24-2010, 02:56 AM
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As a 40 year old Messier had a 24 goal, 67 point season without Gretzky.

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08-24-2010, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by greatgazoo View Post
As a 40 year old Messier had a 24 goal, 67 point season without Gretzky.
He was getting undeserved top-line minutes, though. Not that those totals are unimpressive for a 40-year old.

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08-24-2010, 11:40 AM
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I remember in an interview with Theo Fleury how he thought the Cannucks would be unstopable with Messier. He's not the only one ,however, as most people thought that. How come it didn't work out? I wasnt old enough to fully remember his time with Vancouver.

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08-24-2010, 01:17 PM
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also the prospect of getting joe sakic was also a factor. smith like everyone else at the time thought he could have sakic, because Colorado would never be able to match the offer. however we all know what became of that.

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08-24-2010, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IggyFan12 View Post
I remember in an interview with Theo Fleury how he thought the Cannucks would be unstopable with Messier. He's not the only one ,however, as most people thought that. How come it didn't work out? I wasnt old enough to fully remember his time with Vancouver.
It didn't work out because age really caught up with Messier, but his ego didn't allow him to think he wasn't as good as he used to be, and he had enough of a persona to basically get whatever he wanted.

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08-24-2010, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by greatgazoo View Post
As a 40 year old Messier had a 24 goal, 67 point season without Gretzky.
that was a bad NYR team though. Leetch let the team in scoring that year. Fleury, Nedved, Dvorak also scored more than Mess - who was on season #22 at that time - holy crap!

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It didn't work out because age really caught up with Messier, but his ego didn't allow him to think he wasn't as good as he used to be, and he had enough of a persona to basically get whatever he wanted.
Made this point on another thread - but playing the way messier played (with reckless abandon) plus all those playoff games IT'S COMPLETELY UNREAL THAT HE WAS ABLE TO PLAY THAT LONG.

(I saw Gordie Howe at the end of his playing days - not pretty)

Messier was able to play at a very high level for 20 years, if not more. That's almost unheard of for a player who's as physical, who competes that hard and has all that playoff success.

Look how other players have worn down in HALF that time: Wendel Clark, Eric Lindros, Owen Nolan, Cam Neely, Ryan Smyth, Gary Roberts, Bryan Trottier (and all the dynasty Islanders warriors) - even Darcy Tucker.

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08-24-2010, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by IggyFan12 View Post
I remember in an interview with Theo Fleury how he thought the Cannucks would be unstopable with Messier. He's not the only one ,however, as most people thought that. How come it didn't work out? I wasnt old enough to fully remember his time with Vancouver.
Well I know people assumed he and Bure would be an ultimate tandem. But this was Bure's last season in Vancouver and he wanted out. He was selfish that year and he might have scored the quietest 50 goal season ever for a guy as flashy as him. He was just dreadful without the puck that year, he didn't care.

Mogilny on the other hand was, well, Mogilny. We all know his inconsistencies throughout his career, 1998 was no different. The truth is in the summer of 1997 Fedorov was a free agent. Vancouver should have done whatever they could have to get him. Can you imagine those three on a line again, or just a team. Even if you kept Mogilny as a RW and put him on the 2nd line those three would have killed on the powerplay. If Vancouver does that, perhaps they keep the other two Russians happy.

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08-24-2010, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Well I know people assumed he and Bure would be an ultimate tandem. But this was Bure's last season in Vancouver and he wanted out. He was selfish that year and he might have scored the quietest 50 goal season ever for a guy as flashy as him. He was just dreadful without the puck that year, he didn't care.

Mogilny on the other hand was, well, Mogilny. We all know his inconsistencies throughout his career, 1998 was no different. The truth is in the summer of 1997 Fedorov was a free agent. Vancouver should have done whatever they could have to get him. Can you imagine those three on a line again, or just a team. Even if you kept Mogilny as a RW and put him on the 2nd line those three would have killed on the powerplay. If Vancouver does that, perhaps they keep the other two Russians happy.
I'm pretty sure 1997 was the summer that Carolina gave a huge frontloaded offersheet to Fedorov and Detroit matched. I can't see how they wouldn't have matched Vancouver.

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08-24-2010, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Well I know people assumed he and Bure would be an ultimate tandem. But this was Bure's last season in Vancouver and he wanted out. He was selfish that year and he might have scored the quietest 50 goal season ever for a guy as flashy as him. He was just dreadful without the puck that year, he didn't care.

Mogilny on the other hand was, well, Mogilny. We all know his inconsistencies throughout his career, 1998 was no different. The truth is in the summer of 1997 Fedorov was a free agent. Vancouver should have done whatever they could have to get him. Can you imagine those three on a line again, or just a team. Even if you kept Mogilny as a RW and put him on the 2nd line those three would have killed on the powerplay. If Vancouver does that, perhaps they keep the other two Russians happy.
I wouldn't say it was a quiet 50 goal season for Bure--he was only a goal away from winning the Richard that year. It was just that all he cared about was hitting his contract bonus and, as you mentioned, gave even less defensive effort than usual.

On the other hand, I always thought Mogilny played pretty well in those years. He never got to play with a skilled center after Ronning was let go (he was lined up alongside Peter Zezel for nearly half a season one year) but still managed okay numbers and put in a respectable defensive effort. The main problem was injuries. Those late '90s teams had a lot of problems, but Mogilny wasn't really one of them.

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08-24-2010, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
Vaancouver just offered big money for Messier (+ Keenan).
obviously, i wasn't behind those closed doors, but i've never heard any evidence suggesting that vancouver (whether john mccaw or pat quinn) promised messier that renney would be fired early in the season and that they would pick up keenan.

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Yeah Gretzky being one of his best buddies was not the cause for him to leave. Even in his exit interview he stated that it hurt to leave for more reasons than just "Wayne". If anything, Gretzky's prescence would have given him more reason to mull it over.

I've never been a big fan of Neil Smith but maybe he saw something at the time that the rest of us didn't. Messier's career went down the gutter after 1997 and while some people wanted him on the Olympic team in 1998 guys like Smith saw the writing on the wall that he was on a clear decline. Smith was right, for once.
i didn't like the canucks getting the captain of the '94 rangers, but i had high hopes for his abilities. his numbers had tailed off to a still very good 84 points the year before, but my impression at the time was that it was a result of him losing prime offensive minutes to gretzky. i expected a bounce back to something resembling his '95-'96 hart contending form.

was smith right and was i wrong, or did messier sabotage his own chances at succeeding here?

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Originally Posted by IggyFan12 View Post
I remember in an interview with Theo Fleury how he thought the Cannucks would be unstopable with Messier. He's not the only one ,however, as most people thought that. How come it didn't work out? I wasnt old enough to fully remember his time with Vancouver.
i'm still convinced that it didn't work out because he didn't let it work out. he looked disinterested, especially early on when he was trying to get renney fired and have the C torn from linden's chest, but he didn't look like he had lost it (yet).

i don't see why he couldn't have been a 75-85 point first line center on what was a pretty offensively deep team, if he hadn't had the team gutted. by year three in vancouver, yeah he was washed up. but not in '97, to my eyes at least.

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Originally Posted by CharlestownChiefsESC View Post
also the prospect of getting joe sakic was also a factor. smith like everyone else at the time thought he could have sakic, because Colorado would never be able to match the offer. however we all know what became of that.
this is my recollection. gretzky was already there, there was the big sakic offer sheet, and messier decided to play the market. he could take a backseat to wayne, but i don't think his ego could handle being less of a priority than sakic.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Well I know people assumed he and Bure would be an ultimate tandem. But this was Bure's last season in Vancouver and he wanted out. He was selfish that year and he might have scored the quietest 50 goal season ever for a guy as flashy as him. He was just dreadful without the puck that year, he didn't care.

Mogilny on the other hand was, well, Mogilny. We all know his inconsistencies throughout his career, 1998 was no different. The truth is in the summer of 1997 Fedorov was a free agent. Vancouver should have done whatever they could have to get him. Can you imagine those three on a line again, or just a team. Even if you kept Mogilny as a RW and put him on the 2nd line those three would have killed on the powerplay. If Vancouver does that, perhaps they keep the other two Russians happy.
i can't remember if the bure/fedorov feud over anna kournikova had happened yet, but those two guys would never play on the same team after that. and as TDDM notes above, detroit would have matched anything anyway.

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08-24-2010, 06:57 PM
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I made a comment a couple weeks ago where I said that in my opinion Marcus Naslund was the worst captain in Canucks history. Another poster reminded me that Messier was once captain of the Canucks and I had to eat my words. Messier was the worst, and he will always be hated in Vancouver. Some other guy entered the conversation and said he recently saw a Canucks fan wearing a Canucks Messier jersey. Then a bunch of other Canucks fans got involved and we all shared our feelings about what we would do to that jersey if we ever saw it.


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08-24-2010, 11:11 PM
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I'm pretty sure 1997 was the summer that Carolina gave a huge frontloaded offersheet to Fedorov and Detroit matched. I can't see how they wouldn't have matched Vancouver.
Didn't Carolina offer him the contract midway through the 1997-'98 season? Like February of 1998 or something? That's exactly when Detroit signed him. Detroit probably still matches, but it would have been a decent attempt to bring back that great Russian line. I don't think that Anna Kournikova had become the crappy tennis player that we all remember her for at that time. Wasn't Fedorov married to her briefly in like 2002 or so? And is this "feud" just another rumour that we just take as gospel now?

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08-24-2010, 11:25 PM
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also the prospect of getting joe sakic was also a factor. smith like everyone else at the time thought he could have sakic, because Colorado would never be able to match the offer. however we all know what became of that.
To clarify here:

Messier was signed by the Canucks before the Rangers offered Sakic the offer sheet. The main reason they did so was to replace Messier. First contract that truly inflated salaries of everyone:

http://web.archive.org/web/200705190...78&hubname=nhl

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08-25-2010, 01:23 AM
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To clarify here:

Messier was signed by the Canucks before the Rangers offered Sakic the offer sheet. The main reason they did so was to replace Messier. First contract that truly inflated salaries of everyone:

http://web.archive.org/web/200705190...78&hubname=nhl
true enough. but after the horrendous playoffs messier had im sure smith wanted sakic more. the rangers offered messier 1 year at 4 million if im correct. nowhere near what was offered to sakic. im a diehard ranger and messier fan, but smith was looking towards the future unfortunately it didnt work out. had sakic come to ny, i feel the rangers would have remained contenders instead of falling apart.

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08-25-2010, 03:45 PM
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You also need to consider that for years there have been rumblings that Mess's ego was tearing the locker room apart. For example, Zubov was jettisoned because Mess wasn't a particular fan.

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