Messier in Vancouver

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by ForsbergForever, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    From what i've heard people allude to and what i can see by the stats, Mark Messier's three season tenure in Vancouver was a trainwreck. But is there someone in the know who can shine some light on just why this was so? He went from 99 and 84 point season in New York to 60, 48 and 54 for the Canucks only to rattle off a 67 point year at age 40 his first season back with NYR. Part of this question is why he left the Rangers in the first place when his supposed soulmate Gretzky had just joined the team the season before. What drove him away from what appeared like a great situation. Also, after signing a big contract and playing in Canada again, what soured him on it like it did?
     
  2. monster_bertuzzi

    monster_bertuzzi registered user

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    Messier came here for money, bottom line. 20 million over 3 years was a ton of cash for anyone at the time. And yes, his time here was a disaster - but almost all of the players said him being here helped them immensely with confidence and what not - namely Naslund (among others).
     
  3. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Mike Keenan. :madfire:
     
  4. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    Injuries played a role as well. Pro-rated to 82 games, he would have scored 60, 66, and 67 points in his three seasons. Factor in that he was probably playing hurt for some of those games, rendering him less effective of course. If he was fully healthy for years two and three, he probably cracks the 70-point barrier both times. I've never understood why so many people seem to think that he was absolutely terrible as a Canuck. Certainly it wasn't a great move by the organization, but considering the influence he had on the young guys there that would go on to return the franchise to respectability in the coming years, there have clearly been far, far worse signings.
     
  5. SopelFan*

    SopelFan* Guest

    He still made 20 million over 3 years for those stats...
     
  6. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    Agreed. So what if he wasn't Messier of old? He was a far better than decent player at age 37, 38, 39. People don't give him enough credit for that. I don't think this hurts his reputation at all. What should hurt it, is the fact that he didn't make the playofs in his last 7 seasons.
     
  7. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Messier's career was a disaster from 1997-2004. Possibly the biggest mistake he ever made was going to Vancouver. He never saw a post season game again after 1997. Too bad. Money talks, and I'll tell you it was calling his name. He wasnt even near worth that amount. But what was worse was him coming back to New York in 2000 when he was clearly finished.
     
  8. overg

    overg Registered User

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    Stats aside, my recollection of those years is that Vancouver was supposed to be much better than their record suggested, but Messier was such a dividing force in the locker room that they ended up playing below their talent level and missing the playoffs. Which also happens to be my recollection of Messier as a second-time Ranger. Messier's will may be credited with the Ranger's Cup, but I also credit it with the playoff misses. He had a "I'm bigger than the team" mentality that turned the Canucks and Rangers into jokes.
     
  9. 19nazzy

    19nazzy Registered User

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    This is a period in the 'History of Hockey' that many of us Canuck fans want to forget.

    And the Canucks are still paying him now. :shakehead
     
  10. caseygraves

    caseygraves Don Cherry apologist

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    The Canucks were hoping for 80-90 point seasons from him... but his age and injuries pervented him from doing it...
     
  11. Stonefly

    Stonefly Registered User

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    I have wondered if there was more to this as well. We all know what the public perception was meant to be, but is it possible that Wayne and Mark's relationship was just a lovely veneer covering an unknown rivalry? Messier vacated New York when Gretzky was there and then came back when he was gone. Is that just a coincidence brought about by the money Messier was offered?
     
  12. nyranger61494

    nyranger61494 YNWA

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    From what I understand, and could use some help on the exact figures from those who have them, Messier wanted NYR to match Wayne's contract, something they refused to budge from, prompting Messier to leave for Vancouver.
     
  13. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    Messier's supporting cast in Vancouver for 97-98 and 98-99 was weak. Bure held out and was traded, so he was only there for the first year. Mogilny was injured half the time in those two years, and the goaltending situation was down-right comedic, as McLean, Burke, Snow, Irbe, Hirsch, and Weekes all took turns not stopping pucks. Outside of Messier, Bure, and Mogilny, who was supposed to make them a playoff team? Naslund, Bertuzzi, Jovanovski, and Ohlund were all shadows of what they would become. In 1999-00, Messier's last in Vancouver, the Canucks just barely missed the playoffs, as those young players began to mature. Many of them, especially Naslund, credit Messier's leadership for helping them become the players that were. Again, I'm not saying the Messier signing by the Canucks was good by any stretch of the imagination, or that he wasn't vastly overpaid, but it seems as though Vancouver's failures during his tenure have been entirely blamed on him, which just isn't the case.

    You think it was Messier's fault the Rangers missed the playoffs all those years? Leetch, Nedved, Fleury, Lindros, Bure, Holik, and Jagr, and you single out one guy to blame? If there was ever a team that lost "as a team", it was that one.
     
  14. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Messier wanted the challenge of bringing a new team to the promised land. Unfortunately, he was getting on in age and the Canucks were so putrid that it didn't work out. Anything short of Christ himself could not have led that Canucks team to glory.

    Now Canucks fans have nothing but bitterness for one of the all time greats. Comical.
     
  15. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Messier was signed to play hockey and provide leadership.

    He somehow thought he was being signed to be the GM.

    His period in Vancouver was a disgrace. Cozied up to the owner, took a little over a month for him to get the GM and coach fired. Recommended the hiring of Keenan. Intentionally divided the dressing room and influenced the trading of any popular players, especially any friends of the former captain Linden. Was one of the biggest factors in turning what was a mediocre team when he arrived into a complete circus and one of the biggest joke franchises in the league.

    Told Canuck fans a 56-point season was a great success. Jumped around like he won the Stanley Cup after scoring a goal in New Jersey to make the score 8-1 Devils.

    And the biggest thing was that his effort level here was an absolute joke. Collected $20 million to float around the neutral zone and barely break a sweat. His effort defensively was the worst I've ever seen from an NHL player - and that includes guys like Bure. Simply wouldn't move his feet unless we had the puck and it was moving up ice.

    Most arrogant player I've ever seen, most selfish player I've ever seen, worst display of leadership I've ever seen. If I saw him walking down the street today, I'd probably spit on him for pocketing my hard-earned money that I spent on tickets while putting in the most disgraceful effort possible and 'leading' the team to the worst period in franchise history. And probably 90% of Canuck fans feel that way, for damn good reason.

    He's an all-time great based on what he accomplished from 79-94, but those accomplishments clearly went to his head past that point and turned him into a guy who was nothing but a cancer on an organization.
     
  16. albertGQ

    albertGQ Registered User

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    I don't want to be nitpicky (or do I?), but I beleive the contract he signed with the Canucks were for three years and "only" $18M instead of the $20M being thrown around in this thread
     
  17. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    On that note, does anyone recall other teams pursuing him as a UFA, some of the richer teams must have thrown him an offer like Detroit or Toronto, Vancouver just seems like such an oddball place for him to go at the time.
     
  18. EpochLink

    EpochLink Canucks and Jets fan

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    The Canucks were the laughing stock of the NHL during Messier's time..in truth the players who would become stars later in their career sort of helped them in the long hand. Naslund broke out in the 98-99 season, Bertuzzi broke out a year later, Jovo and Ohlund broke out the same year as well. Messier was too injured, too slow and just damn too full of himself during his time in Vancouver..Sure, Oiler and Ranger fans praise the guy but Vancouver fans are disgusted on how he was brought in and didn't show ANYTHING...

    Once Messier left, Keenan left...Enter Crawford, enter Burke and enter the era of success of 2001-2004

    Where the YOUNG talent exploded and the Canucks were one of the top teams in the league..
     
  19. Sonny Lamateena

    Sonny Lamateena Registered User

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    I don't see why Vancouver fans are so bitter. In 3 years with the Canucks Messier won as many Cups as the Canucks have won before and since combined.
     


  20. Damn Thats harsh, do you feel better now?
    Cancer is a bit extreme, if there was ever a cancer it was Bure, who I think was more of a lazy defensive player & a dividing force in the Locker room.
    I remember all the Comments that came out of Lindin & Odjick after they were exlied, Linded never wanted Mess there, he relucantly gave up the C & when he was traded the Damage was already done, they shoyuld have traded linded in the off season, Linden's *****ing & moaning was sour grapes. Had Vancover made the playoffs in Messiers 3rd year there this board would sing a diffrent tune about him.
     
  21. There was a $2 Million Dollar buy out if the 4th year for an option was not exercised.
     
  22. So after reading this thread, its safe toi say there will not be a Messier jersey retirement Night Any time soon??
     
  23. The biggest Mistake The Ranger Orginzation ever did was Letting Mess go, He really did not want to leave, & his heart was proabaly not 100% into the Vancover deal, which was unfourtanate. How Ironic that Not re-signing Messier was the biggest mistake of Neil Smith's Career, when just 6 years earlier it was the best move smith had ever made was trading for Messier.

    They should have paid him the same Money Gretzky was making which I think was $5 Mill per a Yr. I know Gretz was a little annoyed about the whole Situation, but seriously we Had Wayne Greztky in NY & he could not get us to the Playoffs, Maybe it was Gretzky that was riding messier Coat tails alittle bit, Gretz played awesome in the P/O's the year b4 but he never had the same success in the regular season that Messier had during his tenure with Vancover and years after Gretz Retired, Just look @ THE STATS, an injured Older Messier was better than Gretzky.

    I think the moves that had been made with the Keane & Skrudland signings B4 Messier left for Vancover were all geared around bring Messier Back & taking pressure off of both Gretzky & Messier. Messier leaving Made no sense, other than Vancover was not going to lose out to the Rangers Again witha big name Free agent like they lost out with gretzky the year before. Of course there was the $$$$ factor, The Rangers cleary did not want Messier back, what was Mess suppossed to do?

    All the moves that Smith made after Messier left were just desperation moves, none of them made any sense, In a 9 year span Smith Rebuild the Rangers & than Destroyed them. Glen Sather said once during An interview on WFAN NY, when he got to NY there was NOTHING there, absoultely NOTHING! Sather was starting from scratch.

    My point in all this, Both Teams & there Fans Suffured because of this. But Ranger Fans still Love Messier.
     
  24. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Bure was a selfish player. Messier was a cancer, he highjacked the team and turned mediocre to a steaming pile of crap. That's cancerous.
     
  25. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    So who was the bigger disappointment:

    Messier in Vancouver or Jagr in Washington?
     

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