I wanted to get your thoughts on something, I know that most Canucks fans, including myself, have no use for Mark Messier, on or off the ice. I did not care for the guy at all. However, I want to discuss whether or not you think he's one of the most overrated players of all time.
I know he's won 6 Stanley Cups and various impressive individual honors, and was a very good hockey player, that cannot be understated. However, I feel that most sportswriters, fans and media-alike point to the 1994 Stanley Cup, which I felt Vancouver should have won, as the defining moment of his abilities as the so-called greatest leader n professional sports history. The guaranteed win in game 6 against the Devils? Newspapers don't put the speaker's tone in the quote, so we have no idea how he actually said those words, but they sell newspapers and get everybody talking. To me a great hockey player is so much more than goals and assists, it's doing whatever you can to help your team. To me, Trevor Linden, Joe Sakic or Steve Yzerman are quintessential leaders, they don't yell or point fingers or act immaturely to make a point to their teammates. They do it with actions, quetly, honestly and respectfully. Messier was a dirty player I always thought and gets far too much credit for that 94 Rangers team's success. Was he a big part of it? Of course, one of the frontrunners, but to say that he orchestrated the whole thing is ridiculous.
If he was such an incredible leader? Why were the Canucks teams that he played with for 3 years so bad? No playoff appearances, nothing. The reason why the Rangers were good in 94 and the Oilers were good in the 80s, were because they had lots of good players, Mark Messier was just one of them. He also got into a lot of trouble off the ice and was not a good role model. Linden, Yzerman and Sakic are all upstanding citizens who played the right way on the ice, and acted unselfishly off it. Now some will say, Linden did not win a Stanley Cup and Mark Messier won 6, well I will say this, I'd rather have 1 Trevor Linden on my team, than 15 Mark Messiers. Linden's stats do not come close to Messier, but again, Linden is the type of guy I'd want on my team. Messier was a great player in his prime, but to assert that he's the greatest leader in professional sports, I'm just not buying it.
Edited by whcanuck, 05 March 2013 - 04:19 PM.