Messier Vs Yzerman

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by FakeKidPoker*, Dec 14, 2012.

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  1. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

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    Which, for me, is a guy that was asked to play on the offensive side of the puck and carry the offense.
    Again though, after seeing the way he killed penalties, it was not a surprise to me how easily he transitioned to playing on the defensive side of the puck.
     
  2. toob

    toob Registered User

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    Well on the eyes and memory thing Demers, Murray, and Yzerman himself are of a different opinion, their eyes would be the most scrutinizing of Yzerman and they made their opinions known at the time so they were just relying on eyes not eyes + memory.

    Again i totally understand that people have vastly different opinions on D much more so than O because it isnt nearly as easily captured by a stat (IMO offensive stats leave much to be desired too but thats another convo) but still in this case nobody in this thread (except maybe eva) is saying Yzerman was elite defensively early like he was later...

    And either way i still dont think the with/without win % stat shows anything specifically about two way play and intangibles. Not to mention in Yzerman's 88 and 94 cases there seems to be decent evidence that the disparity was due to other reasons anyway.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  3. pdd

    pdd Registered User

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    Funny that, because I complained back then that Yzerman didn't get enough credit for his defensive work.

    I guess we're at an impasse on the eyeball test.
     
  4. pdd

    pdd Registered User

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    I am saying he was an an elite offense-first forward who played very good defense, and then in 1994 he turned into an elite defense-first forward with very good offense.

    Yzerman wasn't "elite" defensively until the early 90s. But he was never "terrible" defensively.
     
  5. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    Can't remember having seen this link posted, but it's interesting given the comparisons of Messier vs Esposito, and now Messier vs Yzerman. An "expert (journalist) panel" - members are listed - recently came up with a 'Top 10 Centres of All Time' list by assigning 10 points for 1st through 1 point for 10th system came up with the following order:

    1. Gretzky
    ...
    4. Messier
    5. Esposito
    6. Yzerman
    ...
    10. Morenz

    Reinforces just how close these comparisons are, and how the arguments can get so in depth looking for advantages/disadvantages, lol.
     
  6. Aceonfire*

    Aceonfire* Guest

    As much as Yzerman is being underrated here, Messier had the better career.

    I always liked the Sakic Vs Yzerman argument over Messier.

    Yzerman was an elite talent for sure, but Messier was one of those generational players that you rarely see. Who else plays like him now? (Not Taylor hall....)

    The reason the Oilers were so dominant is because they had 3 generational talents in Gretzky, Messier and Coffey and a very good supporting cast.



    I agree for sure that Yzerman was a better goal scorer and later on much better defensively.

    But the argument was about their careers. And despite being a jerk at times, Messier wins easily.
     
  7. Stansfield*

    Stansfield* Guest

    I don't think much work was put into that list. Greg Wyshynski admits to forgetting Espo when he posted his list. http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/joe-sakic-top-10-nhl-centers-time-204652690--nhl.html
     
  8. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    I didn't supply it as a "calibration". It's just interesting that a panel of "experts" sees it basically just as close as we do, and the order was interesting.

    As for the Espo thing, realize that it still would have taken three more 1st place votes to move him above Messier (Greg goes on to say he still would have put Espo after Messier anyway), so the difference of one voter moving to Espo likely simply results in a bit more distance between him and Yzerman/Trottier/Sakic as opposed to a drastic re-ordering.
     
  9. Dark Shadows

    Dark Shadows Registered User

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    A players coach commending the team leader to the press is quite a common occurrence.

    And yet at the time, less people were surprised than you think when Keenan left Yzerman off team Canada in favor of Brent Sutter, Dale Hawerchuk and a very young, never played an NHL game Eric Lindros.
     
  10. toob

    toob Registered User

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    Specifically commending the defense of a player who has a clear reputation as a flashy offensive dynamo is noteworthy. Why does Murray bring up Yzerman's play in his own end when doing an interview about his 50th goal in 93? Or him nearing 1000 points? Both offensive milestones. I can buy a "biased exaggeration" explanation for Demers but not Murray who didnt always have a great relationship with Yzerman. And Yzerman himself seems to be biased against himself when speaking about his play so...

    For the Canada Cup 91, actually from what i have read it seems that during the first 2 games when Yzerman had still not left the team (he was on the taxi squad and was not cut outright like in 87) fans specifically cheered his name during a game . Pretty odd for a player not playing. And it clearly was a big enough deal to get the kind of press it did back then. It wasnt like cutting Sakic or Oates who themselves were both emerging superstars.
     
  11. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Luckily they won because it was stupid to leave Yzerman off that team. Especially in hindsight... Considering how well Yzerman could play in a defensive roll.
     
  12. habsfanatics*

    habsfanatics* Registered User

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    Revising history seems to happen commonly around here. Picking dirk graham over Stevie was universally accepted as one of the dumbest choices ever made by team Canada staff. Stevie was solid in his own end by this time. Keenan got lucky, because this decision was stupid and criticized by everyone who followed hockey at the time. Canada won despite these poor decisions.
     
  13. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    well, graham was the best defensive winger in the game at the time, and a guy who was intimately familiar with the coach's gameplan. hardly an indefensible pick.

    now, if you were to say yzerman over brent sutter, that makes sense. both are natural centers. but even though yzerman can play wing, the argument for having a natural winger who was the reigning selke winner over a converted star offensive center who is above average-to-very good defensively is a solid one.
     
  14. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    The lack of "surprise" was because the lines from Keenan to Sutter, Graham, and Hawerchuk were easy to draw; a separate issue from disappointment in seeing talent like Sakic and Oates cut, and Yzerman relegated to the press box. Yzerman himself wasn't even that surprised after watching the first few games up there, commenting that he could see that he didn't fit Keenan's "plan" to "run around for 30 second shifts like a Chinese fire drill" (pg. 150, The Canada Cup of Hockey Fact & Stat Book, Anderson, 2005).

    I believe this was after the conversation he had with Keenan in which Keenan told him he "had a bad camp, and had bad habits". Of course, Keenan had no problem adding Messier (who originally refused invitation for injury reasons) a day before the first game, i.e. at the end of training camp.

    Keenan was really lucky that the other teams in the tournament either featured historically weak or disappointing teams, themselves. No Stastny, Svoboda, Klima, Ruzicka or Holik for the Czechs. The USA was without Turcotte (injured), Kevin Stevens, Iafrate, Housley, Ramsey, Langway (all refused), and Brian Mullen (left to rejoin San Jose). The Finns had the nickname "Team Terrible" going into the tournament - 'nuff said (although they certainly pulled together as a team). The Swedes (defending world champs I think) were without Loob, Gustafsson, Erixon, Eklund (all refused) and Olausson (illness). The Soviets were without the KLM line, Fetisov (not invited - in NHL), Bykov, Khomutov (not invited - in Europe), Mogilny, Bure, Konstantinov (all in NHL training camps), Kovalev, Kasparaitis (both cut), Irbe (refused to play for Soviets anymore - Latvian), and Kamensky (best forward, suffered broken leg in warm up game vs Sweden).
     
  15. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    But not exactly one Keenan made in the '87 Canada Cup, when he ran a lineup consisting of 7 natural centres: Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier (centre as of '84/85), Hawerchuk, Tocchet, Sutter, and Gilmour. Imagine if Troy Murray (Selke winner in '86 for the pre-Keenan Blackhawks) had made it that year instead of any of them, lol.
     
  16. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    That doesn't exactly make Yzerman sound like a versatile player at the time.
     
  17. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    fair point, though i only count six.

    re: the 91 team specifically, i made the point in another thread that it was weird for keenan to take two pat burns forwards in corson and courtnall but not carbonneau, who was obviously the better defensive player. someone, i think TDDM, speculated that both were natural wingers that could also play center if need be. fleury is another example of that versatility. seems like that was the MO in '91: more true wingers.

    i have no idea, but maybe this was the influence of burns and brian sutter on keenan'sstaff, as opposed to muckler in '87?
     
  18. toob

    toob Registered User

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    Another thing to keep in mind is that apparently Eagleson had guaranteed Yzerman a spot on the team but then later said that only Gretzky was guaranteed a spot. A he says she says situation but given what we know about the characters of Eagleson and Yzerman...
     
  19. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    Hard to say, since Keenan sat him for both games.

    Tocchet survived a cut and paste and got counted, lol. You're right, of course.
     
  20. Thought I'd give this a final bump.. but i'm glad to see the correct answer did end up winning a good margin.

    Messier is just so underrated around here it is such a shame these days
     
  21. Lafleurs Guy

    Lafleurs Guy Global Moderator

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    I wonder how the numbers would've changed had Yzerman been on the Oilers and Mess had been on the Wings?

    Totally different players but I think Messier benefited greatly from developing with Gretz whereas Yzerman was basically by himself.

    Yzerman gets my vote.
     
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  22. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    I know my picture might have me catch some crap....but I'm going to make a case for Yzerman's career over Messier's:
    1. Almost the exact same number of regular season goals with 200+ less games played.
    2. Yzerman's 5 50+ goal seasons to Messier's 2 (I'll give Messier a "theoretical" 50 goal season in 1995-1996 as it's likely he gets there if he didn't get hurt.
    3. 6 of Messier's last 7 seasons he's a minus player.....kinda telling that he's not bringing anything to the table anymore, whereas Yzerman, although injury-prone, was still maybe his team's best forward when healthy, even as late at the 2006 playoffs vs the Oilers.
    4. Yzerman likely passes Messier in assists in the regular season if he gets the same amount of Messier regular season games.
    5. Yzerman was smart enough to know at the end of his career he was a role player and could still be effective, not needing 18-20 minutes of ice time per game. Messier, for being a captain, didn't have this wherewithal in Vancouver.....and I read this was problematic....he refused to shorten shifts and wouldn't listen to the coach (before Keenan got there).
     
  23. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Interesting to re-visit this (bumped) thread.... One thing I note is that a lot of people were earlier saying, as if it were a fait accompli, that Yzerman had the better peak/prime or whatever. My question is... Why is that?

    They both had six 100+ points seasons (and Messier a seventh at 99). Messier won two Hart trophies to Yzerman's zero. We saw on about page 2 of this thread that in 1990, 12 times more NHL players would take Messier than Yzerman in a poll.

    Why exactly did Yzerman have a better peak/prime?
     
  24. Sentinel

    Sentinel Registered User

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    1990? Dead center of Messier's powers, the Pinnacle of his career over a lone star on the bottom feeder? I would've taken Messier over Yzerman then too.

    The thing about Yzerman that he was a better scorer who then became a better defensive player than Messier. Twin peaks, if you will.
     
  25. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    Messier is so much more accomplished than yzerman in playoffs. That's your differentiator and it's not really close.

    The thing I love about Messier is how much he accomplished with let's call it "more limited" talent. He's not your typical top 5-10 most talented guy ever but he won 2 harts above 99 and 66 and beat 99 to his first smythe. Unlike 99 once he left Edmonton he also helped captain his team in 94 to a cup.

    To me he's a bit like Beliveau or even Clarke in the all time rankings. If you look at the players these 3 are usually competing with in their respective ranks you might think the other guys are more "talented". But Messiers career is as rich as can be with accomplishments which is why he deserves to rank so high - and higher than yzerman
     

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