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Would Mark Messier be considered greater if he retired after 1994?

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01-06-2011, 10:42 PM
  #26
Ogie Goldthorpe
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I would think much more highly of him if he had retired instead of coming to the Canucks (and then returning for his forgettable final stint with the Rangers). The extra points he accumulated are a textbook example of "compiling" and the damage he did to his reputation as a "great leader" is obvious in this thread.

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01-07-2011, 05:30 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Bolt Vanderhuge View Post
Simple question. If he took off after bringing the Cup back to New York, would we romanticize his leadership skills and continually prattle on, "What if he didn't retire young?" Would we consider him a top 10-15 player?

Essentially all he did after 1994 was accumulate statistics and money.
He was a Hart finalst and on pace for 50 goals in 1996

In 1997, which saw a massive drop off in league-wide scoring, he was a PPG player and was still a star despite significant injuries.


I think 1997-98 season, not 1994, is when Messier's career took a serious nosedive.

I'm sorry, but when you win two hart trophies, captain two Stanley Cup champs and played multiple Conn Smythe-worthy postseasons, six stat-compiling seasons in your late 30s/early 40s in the dead-puck era wont affect anybody's legacy.

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01-07-2011, 05:44 PM
  #28
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I find it interesting when people talk about how Messier failed as a leader late in his career, but nobody talks about what an awful leader Yzerman was early in his career. I mean, it's well known that Bowman wanted to trade Yzerman because he didn't want to commit to two-way (winning) hockey until he had matured.

Also, I don't see why Yzerman is considered a better leader than Scott Stevens, other than the fact that he played in a bigger market.

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01-07-2011, 06:45 PM
  #29
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I honestly would have hated to see Messier retire after 1994, and as many others have pointed out his seasons from 1995-1997 were among the elite of the NHL. I never understood why some fans say a player is embarrassing himself by choosing to play after his prime. Personally, the 2004 season was very sad as an end of an era, and Messier was the headliner. I loved the sendoff he got at the All Star game.

Mark Messier played as long as he wanted to, and I for one am glad he did.

Messier at age 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, and 43 is one of the highest scoring players for that age group. He did this all in the dead puck era by the way before someone brings up era differences.

Even his Vancouver years are exaggerated when it comes to his play. I guess I can understand his leadership being called into question in those years, but how can you fault him for his play? Compared to players his age he performed admirably. If people bring up that Messier would demand ice time, who else on those teams was being robbed of a first line center position?

Also, Messier's teammates in Vancouver don't seem to have the same opinion of him as the fans.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe
I find it interesting when people talk about how Messier failed as a leader late in his career, but nobody talks about what an awful leader Yzerman was early in his career. I mean, it's well known that Bowman wanted to trade Yzerman because he didn't want to commit to two-way (winning) hockey until he had matured.
Yzerman was hardly a terrible leader in his early career. From the Boston Globe - Sunday, December 11, 1988:

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Yzerman: "We understand he's quite a leader," said Cunniff, "and you're always looking for that kind of player." Said Pleau, "He has so much confidence he gives all the players around him confidence."
He had to deal with the drinking and drug problems that plagued the Red Wings in the late 1980s, especially of Probert and Klima. He had to deal with the way Scotty Bowman treated players he didn't like, unfairly in some cases. Other players like Coffey, Ciccarelli, Sheppard, and Burr were either happy to leave or demanded a trade. Yzerman stayed put and bought into the system.

It seems the reputation he gets stems from Detroit's playoff struggles in the early 1990s and his failure to elevate his game. And his own play may partly be explained with the fact that he suffered injuries of varying degrees every playoff year from 1991-1996.

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01-07-2011, 07:06 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I find it interesting when people talk about how Messier failed as a leader late in his career, but nobody talks about what an awful leader Yzerman was early in his career. I mean, it's well known that Bowman wanted to trade Yzerman because he didn't want to commit to two-way (winning) hockey until he had matured.

Also, I don't see why Yzerman is considered a better leader than Scott Stevens, other than the fact that he played in a bigger market.
1. I think most people also have Stevens as one of the all-time great leaders.
2. People forgive young players for not being able to lead. Leadership is a skill that develops over time.

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01-07-2011, 07:40 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I find it interesting when people talk about how Messier failed as a leader late in his career, but nobody talks about what an awful leader Yzerman was early in his career. I mean, it's well known that Bowman wanted to trade Yzerman because he didn't want to commit to two-way (winning) hockey until he had matured.

Also, I don't see why Yzerman is considered a better leader than Scott Stevens, other than the fact that he played in a bigger market.
Yzerman was actually a player that a lot of Detroit fans wanted out for Detroit early on is his career but to answer your question, lack of leadership when a player is young (Yzerman) is always more forgivable, and just plain understandable, than when a player is older (Messier) and really should know or act better.

Messier's time in Vancouver was quite frankly a joke and something that he should be embarrassed about as he was divisive and on a real ego trip.

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01-08-2011, 10:07 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I find it interesting when people talk about how Messier failed as a leader late in his career, but nobody talks about what an awful leader Yzerman was early in his career. I mean, it's well known that Bowman wanted to trade Yzerman because he didn't want to commit to two-way (winning) hockey until he had matured.
Were you watching hockey back then? Because Yzerman was never thought of as an "awful" leader. That's ridiculous. There were certainly questions about whether he and the Red Wings were winners, but that had nothing to do with Yzerman's leadership. He was never considered a divisive force in his own locker room.

Furthermore, Yzerman's early "failures" as a leader meant not winning a Stanley Cup. His teams never played so far under their talent level as to miss the playoffs entirely . . . which was exactly what happened to Messier's teams his last 7 years. Those were all playoff caliber teams on paper that had horrible chemistry issues. Messier was right in the middle of those issues. He was selfish and egotistical, and his teams played that way.

As for why Yzerman is typically named before Stevens (which I suspect is your real bone with him), I'd say there are two reasons. First, Yzerman was a forward, Stevens was a defenseman. They both made the same sacrifice for their teams . . . offense for defense, but Yzerman is given more credit for this because he was a forward.

Second, Yzerman's one-legged playoff performance is the stuff legends are made of. Too much is probably made of this (much like Messier's legendary guaranty), but it's still probably the biggest reason Yzerman is named more often than Stevens.

Personally, I'd take Stevens as my captain over Messier any day. Those Devils teams were just insanely on the same page, and I can't think of another team that's come remotely close to being so good with so little. On paper the Devils looked like they should have been at best a 4 or 5 seed every year. But on the ice they put together some of the most dominating performances I've ever seen, and did it for nearly a decade. Stevens should get a huge amount of credit for that. There was "the Devils way," it won, and Stevens was its leader.

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01-08-2011, 12:03 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by overg View Post

Furthermore, Yzerman's early "failures" as a leader meant not winning a Stanley Cup. His teams never played so far under their talent level as to miss the playoffs entirely . . . which was exactly what happened to Messier's teams his last 7 years. Those were all playoff caliber teams on paper that had horrible chemistry issues. Messier was right in the middle of those issues. He was selfish and egotistical, and his teams played that way.
I don't know much about the 97-2000 Canucks, but I think you are over rating those early 2000s rangers a teams a little bit.

Aside from Leetch their D was a mess and their coaching was even more suspect. Plus by the time Messier returned to the Rangers he was no longer the top line superstar he was three years prior.

To blame Messier for the failure of those Ranger teams is unfair

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01-08-2011, 01:58 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Bolt Vanderhuge View Post
Simple question. If he took off after bringing the Cup back to New York, would we romanticize his leadership skills and continually prattle on, "What if he didn't retire young?" Would we consider him a top 10-15 player?

Essentially all he did after 1994 was accumulate statistics and money.
Only in the mind of foolish Canucks fans who expected a 36 year old man to dominate the NHL.

Average or below average seasons cannot take away a player's greatness in his prime.

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01-08-2011, 03:15 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Only in the mind of foolish Canucks fans who expected a 36 year old man to dominate the NHL.

Average or below average seasons cannot take away a player's greatness in his prime.
In retrospect, on the first point, you are probably correct, but when he came to the Canucks he was paid to be and hyped to be and took on the mantle to be a messiah-like leader... and failed. Horribly, horribly failed.

On your second point you are technically correct, the end of Messier's career doesn't diminish what he accomplished during his peak. But it does tarnish his legacy.

And yes, I am a foolish Canucks fan (which is why I stayed a fan all through the 80's when Messier and his associates were constantly kicking the Canuck's ***** six ways to Sunday), why do you ask?

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01-08-2011, 03:24 PM
  #36
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For me the question is, would he be ranked lower without the guarantee (which is fluke IMHO, I've heard A LOT of guarentees)?
Still a great player though, I just find the myth is overblown and gives him this "untouchable" aura concerning leadership.

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01-08-2011, 03:55 PM
  #37
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Only in the mind of foolish Canucks fans who expected a 36 year old man to dominate the NHL.

Average or below average seasons cannot take away a player's greatness in his prime.
The problem was that he demanded the play be built around him like he was still dominant. A true leader knows how to pass the torch.

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01-08-2011, 04:20 PM
  #38
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Only in the mind of foolish Canucks fans who expected a 36 year old man to dominate the NHL.

Average or below average seasons cannot take away a player's greatness in his prime.
Maybe some Canuck fans were disappointed in his statistical performance but I was extremely disappointed at his total lack of leadership and divisiveness in the room.

Even statistically he was better with the rangers at the age of 40 than with the Canucks in the 3 previous seasons.

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01-08-2011, 05:13 PM
  #39
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I would guess that Messier would be considered greater had he retired a decade earlier. He would probably be thought of as the unquestioned greatest leader in hockey history and people would assume that had he wanted to he could have kept up his productive play. Interestingly I don't find that Messier's legacy is heavily impacted by being the second highest scorer in NHL history, so the extra points he would be missing out on may not have really reduced his legacy all that much.

Personally, I don't think a player can become less great due to poor years later in their career. Having poor seasons due to age has no impact on how good a player was in their peak/prime.

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01-08-2011, 05:19 PM
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I would guess that Messier would be considered greater had he retired a decade earlier. He would probably be thought of as the unquestioned greatest leader in hockey history and people would assume that had he wanted to he could have kept up his productive play. Interestingly I don't find that Messier's legacy is heavily impacted by being the second highest scorer in NHL history, so the extra points he would be missing out on may not have really reduced his legacy all that much.

Personally, I don't think a player can become less great due to poor years later in their career. Having poor seasons due to age has no impact on how good a player was in their peak/prime.
I completely agree. It's admirable if players can still play the sport on a pro level at high ages. Shouldn`t take anything away from them.


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01-08-2011, 10:16 PM
  #41
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Most people who watched him at his best, know how great he was and his later years won't change their opinion.

Most people who only saw the end of his career will probably consider him overrated and the beneficiary of great teams.

People who didn't get to see him play are going to know about him because of what he did during his prime and because of his stats. I think playing until he passed Howe will probably help his legacy.

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01-08-2011, 10:21 PM
  #42
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A Canucks fan whining about Messier is like Rangers fans whining about Trottier coaching.

If Mark Messier didn't retire when he did, he wouldn't have passed Howe for #2.
edit*riggs99 posted as I was...jinx?

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01-08-2011, 10:53 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Only in the mind of foolish Canucks fans who expected a 36 year old man to dominate the NHL.

Average or below average seasons cannot take away a player's greatness in his prime.
This. Canucks were desperate and put too much pressure on him, Linden did not produce that year either. Guys like Naslund (Best Canuck Ever) thanked him for his time with Vancouver and gave him a lot of credit. I'd take the words of his teammates.

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01-09-2011, 09:42 AM
  #44
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This. Canucks were desperate and put too much pressure on him, Linden did not produce that year either. Guys like Naslund (Best Canuck Ever) thanked him for his time with Vancouver and gave him a lot of credit. I'd take the words of his teammates.
LOL PAVEL BURE. by a ****ing landslide.

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01-09-2011, 11:42 AM
  #45
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This. Canucks were desperate and put too much pressure on him, Linden did not produce that year either. Guys like Naslund (Best Canuck Ever) thanked him for his time with Vancouver and gave him a lot of credit. I'd take the words of his teammates.
Too much pressure? But, but I thought he was Mark Messier, gods gift to hockey. The greatest leader to ever step on the ice. He`s supposed to laugh in the face of pressure and eat it for breakfast.

If he was concerned about pressure, then perhaps he should have signed for a little less than a superstar sized contract and the pressure to perform that comes with that. Perhaps he should have not been so quick to accept the captaincy and the pressure that, that role brings with it.

You know I get it, they love him in Edmonton, and New York, he won cup there. But the Mark Messier that performed there is not the Mark Messier that arrived in Vancouver, and he certainly was n`t the same player in the last seven years of his career.

Bottom line in hockey its simple, your judged by your results. And the result of the Mark Messier experiment in Vancouver was the franchise falling into a black hole for three years, which it did not recover from until he was gone.

Was it all his fault, no Mike Keenan was equally if not more to blame. But Messier certainly has to accept his share of the blame.

All argument about the numbers Messier put up here aside his biggest failure in Vancouver was in what was supposed to be his biggest strength, leadership.

Go back and look at comments made by hockey people when he signed in Vancouver. Be it players, coaches, media, and the number one thing mentioned, was the leadership that he was expected to bring to Vancouver. Instead he helped blow a team apart and split a dressing room.

Now about Linden. And nice attempt to throw him under the bus there, real classy. Linden was battling injuries and missed quite a few games that season, and then of course he was traded after only playing 42 games that year for Vancouver.

Finally Naslund I put about as much credibility in his comments about Messier. as I`m sure you put in Gino Odjick`s comments on Messier.

And don`t get me wrong I love Naslund, but greatest Canuck ever? Sorry but no, you may want to stick to picking your only teams greatest player ever

Greatest Canuck ever (talent) Pavel Bure, and its not even close.

Greatest Canuck ever (heart and soul, leadership, intangibles) Trevor Linden, Stan Smyl

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01-09-2011, 12:05 PM
  #46
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It does not really matter that he put up 7 not so elite years to me.

But with the tarnishing of his legacy as a leader with the Canucks it does dimiish his reputation as a leader a bit. His play was fine though. He was still a dirty mean player. I remember him spearing Havlat in front of the net when Havlat was a young player. He was not pleasant to play against even in his last couple of seasons.

For some reason Messier's huge reputation as a leader somehow to me diminishes Gretzky legacy as one. Gretzky was a tremendous leader. He always wanted to be the best for his team and for himself. Gretzky never mailed it in and clearly never, ever was satisfied with losing. Even with Messier's ego and vocal leadership abilities I think EVERY SINGLE TEAM Gretzky played on he was the true leader, from WJC to the Rangers in every international tournament he played in. You can make Lindros or Messier Captain but realistically Gretzky is leading every team he is on. Name me a more clutch player in playoff or international History? Maybe Rocket Richard? That is leadership.

I just think Gretzky does not get near enough credit for his leadership. He never blamed anyone for anything, he took the entire responsibility on his back. He is like Yzerman or Sakic. He might not have said much but did he have to say anything really?

I'll take Gretzky over Messier as a leader. Where do you think Messier got his swagger from anyway?

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01-09-2011, 12:08 PM
  #47
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Too much pressure? But, but I thought he was Mark Messier, gods gift to hockey. The greatest leader to ever step on the ice. He`s supposed to laugh in the face of pressure and eat it for breakfast.
He was an old man, the canucks never won anything before and even the best captain ever couldn't help the franchise, he succeeded everywhere else but when he joins the canucks BOOM! I don't think it's fair to point fingers at Messier alone when other player underperformed the season before, it was already a mess before Messier got here.

Quote:
If he was concerned about pressure, then perhaps he should have signed for a little less than a superstar sized contract and the pressure to perform that comes with that. Perhaps he should have not been so quick to accept the captaincy and the pressure that, that role brings with it.
Perhaps management shouldn't have given a 36 year old that contract.

It's not like Messier begged for the spotlight and captaincy, Linden was kind enough to give it to him, Leetch also gave him captaincy and that turned out alright.

Leetch won the cup, Linden, not so much.

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You know I get it, they love him in Edmonton, and New York, he won cup there. But the Mark Messier that performed there is not the Mark Messier that arrived in Vancouver, and he certainly was n`t the same player in the last seven years of his career.
Of course, he underperformed but to blame the whole franchise's epic 40 years of failure on him is not fair imo.

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Bottom line in hockey its simple, your judged by your results. And the result of the Mark Messier experiment in Vancouver was the franchise falling into a black hole for three years, which it did not recover from until he was gone.
I'll disagree, many oher players also underperformed including Messier, but why blame it all on him?

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Was it all his fault, no Mike Keenan was equally if not more to blame. But Messier certainly has to accept his share of the blame.
He did nothing wrong.

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All argument about the numbers Messier put up here aside his biggest failure in Vancouver was in what was supposed to be his biggest strength, leadership.
Can we determine leadership on a scorecard?

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Go back and look at comments made by hockey people when he signed in Vancouver. Be it players, coaches, media, and the number one thing mentioned, was the leadership that he was expected to bring to Vancouver. Instead he helped blow a team apart and split a dressing room.
Not fair to point fingers at one guy. Why didn't any other players step up towards management?

Quote:
Now about Linden. And nice attempt to throw him under the bus there, real classy. Linden was battling injuries and missed quite a few games that season, and then of course he was traded after only playing 42 games that year for Vancouver.
I did not make any remarks against Linden, I don't think he would have been the better captain.

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Finally Naslund I put about as much credibility in his comments about Messier. as I`m sure you put in Gino Odjick`s comments on Messier.
Bertuzzi as well thanked Messier, he went on to be one of the game's best power forwards in his prime.

Messier had a positive effect for the young players like Naslund and Bertuzzi.

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And don`t get me wrong I love Naslund, but greatest Canuck ever? Sorry but no, you may want to stick to picking your only teams greatest player ever

Greatest Canuck ever (talent) Pavel Bure, and its not even close.
If we are talking about absolute peak, then yes it's Bure, but Naslund was an MVP and the face of the franchise whule Bure floated his last season with the Canucks to get a paycheck.

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01-09-2011, 07:44 PM
  #48
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He was an old man, the canucks never won anything before and even the best captain ever couldn't help the franchise, he succeeded everywhere else but when he joins the canucks BOOM! I don't think it's fair to point fingers at Messier alone when other player underperformed the season before, it was already a mess before Messier got here.
Yes the team struggled the year before, which was one of the reasons Messier was brought here to begin with. And Messier responded with (at that time) one of the worst seasons of his career. Yet of course according to the Messier apologists none of that is his fault.

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Originally Posted by HemskyToHall View Post
Perhaps management shouldn't have given a 36 year old that contract.
Of course Messier could have done what Mats Sundin did and sign for half of what the Canucks offered.

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Originally Posted by HemskyToHall View Post
It's not like Messier begged for the spotlight and captaincy, Linden was kind enough to give it to him, Leetch also gave him captaincy and that turned out alright.
Linden offered Messier the captaincy for the good of the team because of Messier`s reputation of being a great team leader. A reputation and responsibility that in his Vancouver days at least proved to be overrated and undeserved.

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Leetch won the cup, Linden, not so much.
Yep Leetch had a great playoff when he won his one cup. But then again so did Linden that year. Including being the best Canuck on the ice and scoring 2 goals and doing everything in his power to will his team to victory in that pivotal Game 7 of the 94 cup final.

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Of course, he underperformed but to blame the whole franchise's epic 40 years of failure on him is not fair imo.
Where in my comments have I blamed Messier for the (BTW 39 ) seasons of failure of the Canucks? The only years I have blamed Messier for are the years he played on Vancouver.


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I'll disagree, many oher players also underperformed including Messier, but why blame it all on him?
Did you actually even read my whole post? Or our you simply ignoring the part where I stated Mike Keenan was as much or more to blame for the three year disaster of the Keenan, Messier experiment. And to add to that I`ll throw equal blame at the ownership at that time that hired these turds to begin with.


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He did nothing wrong.
He did nothing right.

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Originally Posted by HemskyToHall View Post
Can we determine leadership on a scorecard?
Three years, -player six of his last seven years. Teams missed playoffs 7 of his last 7 years.

Clearly did nothing to make those teams any better, in fact no question Vancouver got worse on ice and off after Messier arrived.

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Not fair to point fingers at one guy. Why didn't any other players step up towards management?
By that time management consisted of Messier`s buddy Mike Keenan. And what player would have stepped up and said boo after watching the franchise player and one of the most popular Canucks ever get traded.


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I did not make any remarks against Linden, I don't think he would have been the better captain.
Why am I not surprised. Frankly I would take anyone of Linden`s years as captain over the ego from hell, AKA Mark Messier years.

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Bertuzzi as well thanked Messier, he went on to be one of the game's best power forwards in his prime.

Messier had a positive effect for the young players like Naslund and Bertuzzi.
And there were players with less flattering views.

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If we are talking about absolute peak, then yes it's Bure, but Naslund was an MVP and the face of the franchise
Again in regards to pure talent and skills, peak or not its Bure and again its not even close.

Naslund was a great player but no amount of spin doctoring will make him the greatest canuck ever, ahead of guys like Stan Smyl, or Trevor Linden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HemskyToHall View Post
whule Bure floated his last season with the Canucks to get a paycheck.
As opposed to floating for three years to collect a paycheck like Messier did. And funny but if a 51 goals 90 point player who was a plus player that year was a floater, I think we could use have used a few more of those type of floaters.

And if those numbers make Bure a floater what do you call Messier who only managed 51 goals in three years, one more than Bure bagged in one season. As well as Messier finishing a combined -37 in those three years.

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01-09-2011, 08:17 PM
  #49
seventieslord
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Clearly did nothing to make those teams any better,
how do you know they wouldn't have been even worse without him?

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01-09-2011, 08:59 PM
  #50
Kirikanoir
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
how do you know they wouldn't have been even worse without him?
\

Can you prove they would have been worse without Messier?

Vancouver was 10 wins and 13 points better the year before Messier arrived and they were 6 wins and 7 points better the year after he left. And that is with team points in Messier `s final year being inflated due to the OT loss points coming into effect that season.

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