Was Messier dirty just because he couldnt fight?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Big Phil, Feb 8, 2006.

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  1. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    The theory I have is that despite Messier being one of the best players of all time without a doubt I cant help but think that if you remember his career on the physical side you think of the cheap shots and not the fights. Think about it. To me Messier was not a very good fighter. And compared to the cheap shots he dished out he never dropped the gloves quite as often. Think over his career. Jamie Macoun, Rich Sutter (I think it was Rich), both got serious cheap shots from him that resulted in suspensions. Mess took out four of Sutter's teeth with a high stick. Macoun was attacked and I forget the player who got speared in the groin back in the end of the '03-04 season by Mess.

    Now of course we all know he had intensity. He did anything to win. but can you remember any big fights he was in? I remember mostly the cheap shots, because I dont think he could fight his way out of a wet paper bag.
     
  2. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    Messier was dirty because he was genuinely mean on the ice, much like Howe if what I read about Gordie is true.
     
  3. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Yeah but Gordie could and would fight. Its no secret that a Gordie Howe hat trick is a goal an assist and a fight. Howe could kill you with a punch.
     
  4. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    Holy crap, I was going to post that.
     
  5. Janney17

    Janney17 Registered User

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    It wasn't that he couldn't fight. Mess could throw them if he had to but it was all about the intimadation factor IMO. This was one of the most important aspects of his game. Both players and refs were intimadated by him. Look at how much he got away with even when the refs were looking right at him. As for the players , young guys were told to watch out for him he's dirty, and those who did mess with him found out that Moose settled his own scores with interest.
     
  6. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Exactly.

    Look around, nobody looking, okay, elbow a guy in the face and skate away, or spear him quickly and avoid him thereafter.

    Messier and Howe were two of a kind.
     
  7. HVPOLARBEARS19

    HVPOLARBEARS19 Registered User

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    Messier most definately could fight. He wasn't a fighter, but he could fight when need be, in Edmonton he had his fair share of them and with the Rangers he had a modest amount (maybe like 4 or 5 a season). In his second stint as a Ranger I distinctly remember Messier fighting I believe it was Ken Daneyko during a Ranger playoff push, (which ultimately fell short of course), but it was used as a way to spark the team if he could.
     
  8. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    'Gordie Howe Hat Trick' - what nonsense. Just another con from his propoganda people.

    Howe scored goals, has plenty of assists but maybe 5 fights in his entire career and no real fights since 1959 and he played until 1980.

    A goal, assist and a fight should be named after a player who did all three. Howe did not. Players like Tocchet, Neely and others would qualify more. So would Maurice Richard.

    And, I've yet to see Howe hit anyone from in front. He always used the elbow or stick from behind.

    Howe made his reputation on one fight - with Lou Fontinato.

    Do you know of any other fights that Gordie Howe had?

     
  9. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Not sure how old you are Big Phil but, when Messier was younger in the early to mid-80s, he kicked some *** in fights. I remember, about 1989, he had a great scrap with Marty McSorley.

    As he got older, he didn't fight anymore.
     
  10. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    But, they were both damn fine hockey players.
     
  11. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    Thank you and the same goes for Messier. Both all time great players but is spearing and elbowing instead of taking a hit really tough hockey?
     
  12. Metallian*

    Metallian* Registered User

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    Messier was dirty. No respect for the guy.
     
  13. Habsaholic

    Habsaholic Registered User

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    Messier was a great fighter, didnt fight much but when he did, he didnt lose much.
     
  14. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    I think he'll sit back in the hall of fame and reflect on his six cups and place in history without feeling too badly about your lack of endorsement ;)
     
  15. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Maybe in the beginning of his career. I wouldnt sya he was as bad a fighter per se as Claude Lemieux or Kasparitis (two guys who dished out cheap shots and then turtled) but for the cheap shots he dished out he didnt fight nearly as much. I remember when he was an Oiler late in the 80s it was common that when a guy was about to check him he would elbow him or butt end him. Sure he was a unique talent and you cant question him among the greats but he should have answered his cheap shots more with fights IMO.
     
  16. Rumblick

    Rumblick Registered User

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    :yo: :handclap:


    Mess was a nasty player, but he never backed down from a fight. He had guys willing to stand up for him, but it wasn't due to lack of willingness on his part.
     
  17. Skroob*

    Skroob* Guest

    Fighting gets you 5 minutes in the box. When you are an elite player, you dont want that to happen.

    Messier, by playing his game, would only cost ya 2min, and thats *if* he even gets caught.

    Its risk vs. reward, and he was playing the odds.
     
  18. Prof_it

    Prof_it Registered User

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    Just a few years ago, I can remember watching Messier with the Rangers...somebody took a run at one of NY's skill guys, Messier dropped his gloves.

    I remember thinking then that while Messier's skills were no longer the same, he still (at least on this occasion) brought that same intensity as I remembered him having with the Oil.

    I'll take a guy that knows when it's time to drop em over a good fighter that brings nothing else to the table anyday.
     
  19. sandels

    sandels Registered User

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    If he was as willing a fighter as you say then one would expect him to have had significantly more fights and against tougher opponents than those he actually had. According to this site he had a measley 56 fights in 1756 NHL games. Just to piss everybody off, that's less than the beloved Ulfie Samuelsson had in lot shorter career. And Messier's fight card is really, really weak for a one you say was willing to fight anybody anytime. Being an elite player did not stop Cam Neely from fighting the likes of Semenko or Kocur.

    IMO, there is a sort of double-standard in the attitudes of fans towards legendary players like Mess or Howe. It is somehow acceptable for Messier to be known for dirty elbows and spearing, not having to answer the bell for real goons and still be respected.
     
  20. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    I'll try to be nice.

    Bringing out fight statistics to measure the toughness of Mark Messier is, well, absurd. How anyone could watch #11 play and even begin to suggest that he was timid or shied away from anyone is absolutely mind-boggling. Please, put away the numbers.

    And yes, there was a double-standard for Howe and Messier. You know why? Because they could get away with it. No one wanted to mess (pardon the pun) with either one of them. They were intimidating. Yes, a double-standard indeed; wasn't the same for most mere mortals on the ice. Life is unfair, you know?

    ***

    As for being "dirty": if it's my player, he's "chippy". If it's your player, he's "dirty". ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2006
  21. DaMick

    DaMick at least we got D

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    Same thing i thought...never much the fighter but he mastered intimadation in every aspect
     
  22. Slats432

    Slats432 Registered User

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    Yep....people don't fight guys that will do anything to win.....games, fights, the puck.(I think they are concerned about how far they will go.. ;) )

    Very few guys like that...Howe, Trottier, Messier, Neely.......
     
  23. Calorissi

    Calorissi Registered User

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    Messier started his carear as a 4th line energy/enforcer type.
    He worked his way up the ladder and into the skill lines. There has to be something about a guy who seemed to be as dirty as all of you say he was and have him not 'face the music' every now and then. He was intimidating and few players would try to make him pay for his 'enthusiasm'. He was not a heavyweight by any means, but he was tough enough that people did not mess with him.
     
  24. 007

    007 You 'Orns!

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    Another factor is that Mess on the Rangers (first time around at least) almost always had Adam Graves who would step in for him. Gravey would never let Messier get into fights, because he would pound anyone who started with Messier. Underrated fighter, Graves.
     
  25. sandels

    sandels Registered User

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    Glad you were nice. ;)

    I'm not saying he was timid but there has to be a reason his fight card is really weak. Are you saying that Messier was so feared that even the heavyweights whose jobs were to police their team would not touch him if he cheapshotted somebody? That he was feared more than say Probert or Brown or Kocur who all had no difficulties in finding dancing partners? Just curious...
     
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