Wednesday, February 07, 2007

 

Well said

So, Mark Messier thinks he'd like to be the Rangers GM... after reading the TSN report about it yesterday, I commented that while "maybe I'm reading too much into it..", it didn't sound like he was too keen on paying his dues first.

Having now read the Terry Jones column that spurred the thing, I can say with some confidence that my impression was correct -- at the very least, Larry Brooks reacted the same way in a scorching column today (√ěKukla). Read the whole thing, but I'll quote at length:
Mark Messier is entitled to aspire to whatever post-playing career he wishes and his rat pack of Oilers cronies is entitled to treat his every wish as if it were a command to be communicated to the outside world with a puff of white smoke.

Doug Messier is entitled to shamelessly campaign for his son to take over the Rangers upon Glen Sather's retirement with exactly the same fervor as he sought top dollar on every single contract he negotiated in Edmonton, New York, Vancouver and New York again as No. 11's agent.

But the sense of entitlement displayed by Doug Messier via quotes in a story that appeared yesterday in a hometown, rally-'round-the-No.11 flag-boys Edmonton paper in which Mark stated that he'd set his sights on becoming the next Rangers' GM was more than disgraceful.

For not only did Doug, who implied that a succession agreement was already in place (we must have missed it in the fine print of Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution), show a flagrant amount of disrespect for assistant GM Don Maloney and all of those currently in administration, his assertion of privilege recalled the sense of entitlement he and the clan displayed during the Messier II Failure on New York in which the Blueshirts failed to make the playoffs in each of the captain's final four seasons on Broadway.
[...]
Mark Messier presided over his second annual leadership camp last weekend at the Rangers' practice rink.

After all these years, it's remarkable that his clan does not understand that one can only lead by showing respect for his peers.

Sense of entitlement? Say it ain't so! Motors' take was gentler, but pithier:
Guess that Oiler spirit really does run in the blood: you're allowed to just walk up to any team you used to play for and get key front office positions with little to no experience, right?

You can count the Cups, and run down his career stats, and recount tales of his on-ice toughness and heroism all day and night, but I just don't think you can escape the fact that Mark Messier is a giant ass.

Comments:

Well said. Some wags around here were suggesting that it was inappropriate top paint Mikey V's number 30 on the ice behind the net (as this was Gretzky's office). Why not paint it where all the goals went in. Ha Ha.

I assume the same wags will endorse painting Mess' number 11 in his office: that is, the penalty box, where he spent all lot of time after assorted and sundry cheap shots, or perhaps the press box of Rexall, where he served all of those suspensions?

Just an idea.
 


Messier just filled the vacuum vacated by others obsequious fawning over him. Its tough to be humble when nobody evers says no.
 


Everything in the Jones article seems pretty tame. Kudos for relying on the word of the New York Post for your argument. Was there nothing in the National Enquirer?

Six Cups. Six Cups. Six Cups.
 


Yeah of course he was a giant ass. A giant ass that laid waste to the Flames as a rite of Spring. There's more than a little envy in this post.

(Aside: The Flames are stuck honouring Vernon and remembering how John Tonelli would rush off the ice on a line change. That's more than a little sad.)

There's nothing wrong with any of this stuff as long as he doesn't get the job, or at the very least not on his terms. The problem is with the guys that hand over the keys every time. Hate the game, not the player Matt. (You too Herb)
 


Brooks wasn't reporting, he was commenting, so I'm not sure what you mean by "relying on the word". Was the Messier II Failure actually a Success, and Brooks is misinforming us?

Look at Messier's hockeydb page, and all the "--" in the bottom right corner. While he was an awesomely talented hockey player until about age 33/34, there is a fucking astounding mountain of statistical and anecdotal evidence that he was a terrible "leader", forget about a great one.
 


Matt said...
...there is a fucking astounding mountain of statistical and anecdotal evidence that he was a terrible "leader", forget about a great one.


Ooo, by all means please flesh that one out. I'd be really interested to see you prove that Messier was a terrible leader. Surely your statistical evidence isn't based on the impact of an aging player on the playoff fortunes of some pretty mediocre hockey teams. Tell me you've got more than that.
 


That's exactly what it is, which is the point, isn't it? Once his skills diminished, his vaunted leadership and presence was worth worth precisely squat -- or to hear Vancouver and Rangers II tell it, negative something.

Zero playoff appearances in his last 7 years. Cripes, what would he have accomplished if he was a lousy leader? Probably zero playoff appearances in his last 7 years. Hmmm...
 


Hey, Rivers, my comment on John Tonelli was in response to a Canuck line change in which the Oilers scored. It was a criticism of the Canucks sloppy change it had nothing to do with the Oilers at all and certainly nothing to do with the Flames. I don't think Messier is a giant ass, but you're pulling hard for the award.
 


What the hell does Messier's leadership have to do with anything, Matt? All you've done is expose the fact that this entire post is based not on whether anything bad was actually said or done, but on the fact that you dislike him so much you'll pretend to actually be upset about something he didn't actually say or do.

I'm sure you are right about Messier AND Fuhr, though. Mike Vernon and Joel Otto were much better players. If the proof isn't in the rings, the awards, the numbers or the common sense of most hockey fans, it's at least in your fancy. Seems to be worth quite a bit of time these days.
 


And I hear you on the line change, CJ. I hate that shit. It's like a guy not running out a ground ball in baseball. Sloppy bullshit that should be eliminated. They've killed the backhand and wrist shot in hockey, too. Now all you get is slapshots and showboating. Where is the game I grew up loving?
 


How much more worse than Lowe & Company could Messier be??
 


Why are people defending Messier? Matt's anti-Oil bias aside, I thought the MSM were the only ones who still bought into the whole "Messier was a great leader" thing. Six cups, sure, but on six teams packed to the gills with hall-of-famers and all-stars in their prime, (four with the greatest player in NHL history), not to mention he went four-for-twelve making the playoffs once he left Edmonton (including missing the playoffs the year before he won the Cup in New York, just to discount that whole past-his-prime thing): this is great leadership?

More to the point, though: Matt said he was an asshole. Who in their right mind is going to deny that?
 


Matt said...
That's exactly what it is, which is the point, isn't it? Once his skills diminished, his vaunted leadership and presence was worth worth precisely squat -- or to hear Vancouver and Rangers II tell it, negative something.

Zero playoff appearances in his last 7 years. Cripes, what would he have accomplished if he was a lousy leader? Probably zero playoff appearances in his last 7 years. Hmmm...


It could be that. Or it could be that leadership doesn't count for much at all. Personally I lean that way. Most NHLers have been leaders on various teams as they came up through the ranks. They've already been progressively selected at several stages with that bias in mind. Are any of the so-called great leaders that far ahead of their artificially selected peers, or are they just generally better players?

I don't care what the anecdotes say, I really doubt that leadership gets you anything if you don't have the horses and those seven teams didn't really have the horses anyway. In short, I think you've got proof of exactly nothing Matt. Just my opinion of course.

Regardless, I agree with Pleasure Motors to a certain degree. Sure he's an asshole. I just don't care.

cynical joe: I know you were talking about the Canucks - but Tonelli did play for the Flames. Gloriously I'm sure. Call it poetic license, if you want.
 


To state that "According to a report in the Toronto Sun, Messier wants to talk to current Rangers general manager Glen Sather about taking over the job when Sather decides to retire" is scandalous to whom, exactly? He wants the job; big whoop. He certainly shouldn't get it, for a hundred reasons, first of which is Garth Snow. But what's so pernicious about asking? And if his on-ice successes are fairly irrelevant to the GM's job, so are his failures, no? If he couldn't win the Cup with the Canucks, that lumps him in with everyone from Bure to Todd Warriner.
 


Why are people defending Messier? Matt's anti-Oil bias aside, I thought the MSM were the only ones who still bought into the whole "Messier was a great leader" thing.

I don't think anyone here said anything about him being a great leader. It's actually irrelevent to the point of him wanting to be a GM. It's just one of Matt's hobby horses, is all. But to be clear: just because I don't completely buy the "great leader" argument doesn't mean I buy the "he was an overrated player" argument. He was a dominant player for a long period of time. I can't think of a guy I would like to play against less, including Gretzky. He was mean, talented, and obsessed with winning. That's a lethal combination.
 


Indeed. He was overrated for the final years; the 6 Cups blinded a lot of people (who weren't stuck watching him play for their team) to the fact that his skills had gone with the wind.

If anything, the whole "leadership" issue has done an injustice to Messier's legacy as a supreme talent in his prime. He didn't score all those points and win those Cups armed with just a can-do-it attitude and a burning desire.
 


The bizarre thing about Messier was that he was simultaneously overrated and underrated in his last few years: there were the people who expected him to lead the Rangers to the Promised Land, and then there were the people who thought he couldn't lead a CHL team in scoring. There seemed to be no in-between.

Actually, if you look at it, even at the end of his career the Moose was, all things considered, an okay third/good fourth-liner who looked after things defensively, contributed offensively, and if you could sign him for, say, $800,000/y (and you never could) would be great value.

Of course, I think he was the greatest player of all time. So there you are.
 


First off, this argument has turned away from the pretentiousness with which Mark asserted his intentions to be the Ranger's next GM.

However, since we're talking stats, Messier's Points/game in his last 4 seasons was actually 0.63 and never dipped beneath 0.5 - a feat that until recently could only be claimed by one player from Cowtown. I really don't know what was expected of the guy at that age but I'm pretty sure those scoring rates are still impressive in context.
 


Ya, so take that, bitches!
 

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