A tribute to one of the greatest athletes in sports history!

Recently a story was posted pertaining to the possible retirement of two hockey greats Scott Stevens and Mark Messier. This article got 16 comments! SIXTEEN COMMENTS PERTAINING TO THE RETIREMENT OF ONE OF THE GREATEST ATHLETES AND ABSOLUTE GREATEST LEADER IN ALL OF SPORTS MARK MESSIER!! In this day and age of Hockey Trade Rumors.com where a rumor of the Leafs signing Marius Czerkawsk…how ever you spell his name gets 310 comments how does the retirement of an undeniable all time legend get packaged with another news item and only get 16 comments? So I want to do the Moose justice and Give Mark Messier the tribute he deserves. First of lets discuss the present. Mark Messier is most likely not retireing. Almost every site everyone here reads Eklunds, Thefourthperiod, Spectors, TSN etc… is reporting Mark Messier is close to returning to the team he started his NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers. Messier can and will help the Oilers a great deal. Not only from a leadership standpoint (which I’ll address later) but from a production standpoint. As we all know Edmonton has a promising lineup with one possible fatal flaw. They are thin at center. Messier would be a great upgrade. In Mesier’s last two years with the often dreadfull New York Rangers Messier posted 18 goals and 22 assists in 02-03 and 18 goals and 25 assists in 03-04. Are these numbers earth shattering? No not by any means. Are they still productive, and can they help the Oilers? Absolutly.

Where else can Messier help the Oil? Well his greatest role will be where it has been his entire career, with leadership. Looking at the Oilers lineup it’s easy to note two things, it’s filled with promising, talented players, and alot of those players are young and inexperienced. Raffi Torres, Alexi Semenov, Ales Hemsky, Marc Andre Bergeron, all players that have talent but are young. Messier is a known leader, motivater and teacher. He is universally accepted as the greatest leader in sports history. Think about that, in all of sports history! Sports hass had leaders like Pete Rose, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, John Elway, the list goes on and on and Messier is put at the top of that list! So it’s easy to see where his greatest impact would be on the Oilers.

Now to the legend of Mark Messier. Being that his career is obviously quickly coming to a close I thinks it would be appropriate to reflect upon Messier’s legend. Moose is known for his as one of the NHL’s all time leading scorers, Messier emerged from Oiler teams of the 1980s to become a hockey great. Messier has won a total of six Stanley Cup Championships and and twice he took home the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP. When the Oil won their 1st Cup in 84 Messier playing with greats the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr, was the MVP in the playoffs, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for his 26 post-season points and his incredible leadership.

When The Great One left for L.A. in 88, Messier was given the “C”, although many predicted the Oilers’ run of success was over. In the 1989 playoffs, the Oilers were upset by Gretzky’s L.A. Kings and the skepticism surrounding the team seemed to be merited. One season later, however, in 1989-90, Messier had his greatest season, finishing second to Gretzky with 129 points. He also won the Hart Trophy over Ray Bourque as the league’s most valuable player. In the playoffs, with the Oilers down 2-1 in games to the Blackhawks in the semi’s, Moose took over in the fourth game, scoring two goals and collecting two assists in Edmonton’s 4-2 road win. His one-man display impressed everyone, Chicago players, coaches and fans as well, and his all-time performance inspired the Oilers. Edmonton swept the remaining games from Chicago and easily handled Bourque and the Bruins in the finals to give Messier his fifth Stanley Cup ring with Edmonton.

Messier was traded to the New York Rangers before to the 1991-92 season for Bernie Nichols, Steven Rice and Louie DeBrusk. In New yourk Messier engineered one of New Yorks all time greatest sports moments. The Strangers were down 3-2 in games to the Devils in the Eastern Conference finals. Messier publicly GAURANTEED a game six win. He followed up on his promise with a incredible performance, scoring a hat-trick in the third to bring his team back from elimination and force a game seven. Messier and the Rangers dispatched the Devils and then won the Cup in another thrilling series against the Vancouver Canucks. Messier scored the Cup winning goal in game seven. With the victory, the Rangers first in over 50 years, Mess became the first player to captain seperate different teams to Stanley Cup titles.

Since that pinacle moment Messier has had a productive career with both the Rangers and Vancouver Canucks for a few Years. Messier will be ultimatly remembered as much for his leadership abilities as for his acomplishments on the ice. His icy stare that flat out scared his younger teamates into raising their game, to his motivational speeches that elevated entire teams, Messier always knew what to say and when to say it.

“In any form of competition or battle, he is the perfect leader”

-Mike Richter

We should all respect what Mark Messier has done for the game of hockey and for sports in general.


84 Responses to A tribute to one of the greatest athletes in sports history!

  1. titans says:

    This is the story that first made me a Messier fan I wish I could remember the other players name and if anyone does tell me who it is.

    Mark Messier after being called into the leagues disciplinary office…

    Q: Do you have any regrets about what you did?

    A: Yea I regret I didn’t kill the Mother F’er!

  2. titans says:

    I don’t know 18 goals and 23 assists while playing on the most disfunctional team in the league is pretty good. Regardless of the pages and pages stats in the record book Messier is a legend who has earned the right to say when and where he can retire.

  3. NYRules says:

    if we had york we would be building with him as the foundation. He is a class player with great heart and character who i wish was the face of the rangers instead of not having a face.

  4. Freeze says:

    I think what he means by “o………………k” is that Mark Messier WAS a great hockey player 15 years ago. Indeed, he was awesome. No one in their right mind could dispute that. But the problem here is that Messier isn’t smart enough to know when to hang em up. Messier is almost 45 years old and he is NOTHING like what he used to be. Hockey fans quickly lose respect for aging athletes who refuse to be honest with themselves. They become pathetic. NOW, you try to honor a once great athlete who has become pathetic.

    Your tribute to Messier should have happened 5 years ago or more – right around the time that Messier should have retired. He belongs in a beer league, but we’re all supposed to be in awe of this has-been for hanging on too long. Shame on him!!

  5. Freeze says:

    If Messier is such a great leader, why are the Rangers “the most disfunctional team in the league?”

  6. titans says:

    Oh I don’t know…THEIR FRONT OFFICE PERHAPS???

  7. Freeze says:

    Great Story….

    Did this happen recently?

  8. nj814 says:

    yo started it off with it being about stevens and messier but was only about messier

    i wanted to hear news on stevens!

  9. PensFansRejoice says:

    Who the heck is Mark Messier??? I want to hear more about the future Hall of Famer Mariusz Czerkawski!!!

    He hasnt actually retired yet so why not wait until he does, until then MORE MARIUSZ!

  10. Bossy573 says:

    You Tell em Freeze I,m With Ya

  11. GretzNYR99 says:

    This article was a tribute to him.

    Should he retire? Maybe, who knows. This guy is in great shape year after year. The problem is, he got too much ice time in NY. If he gets 4th line ice time like he should be getting, he could be a good role player on a championship contender.

    I don’t want to see him go out as a loser on a club that doesn’t know the definition of the word playoffs. I love my Rangers, but it’s not the way it should have ended for Gretzky, and Messier’s got a choice, I hope he goes to Edmonton for one last hoorah.

  12. GretzNYR99 says:

    Well said, Titans.

    Thank you.

  13. PensFansRejoice says:

    probably Darius Kaspairitis

  14. tacitus says:

    I hope they both retire to be honest. They both had great careers and will always be champions and among the best leaders in the game. Its a shame to go out on a lock out season but 10 years from now we will remember them for who they were not how they retired. Regardless of what these players decide to do they played their hearts out for us for 20 years or so and they deserve our gratitude and praise for the wonderful memories they have giving us. Thank you Mark Messier, Scott Stevens and also Ron Francis

  15. bunks says:

    even if you are right, you took it too far.

  16. titans says:

    No years and years ago. He clobbered somebody with a vicious hit into the boards. I remember it being described as a really rotten hit.

  17. titans says:

    Messier scored 18 goals and 24 assists on a completely disfunctional lineup. That is certainly a good contribution.

    Messier has earned the right to say when he will retire! He’ scored more points than ALMOST anyone in the game. He’s won six cups! He’s recognized as the greatest leader in sports.

    Messier will go when he wants to go! Just like when he plays he does what he wants to do regardless of what people think!

    Good for him!

  18. adambuffalo says:

    Messier has to be one of my favorite players ever to play the game (LaFontaine is still my favorite.) Great article. I would love to see Mark play one more season, and retire an Oiler.

  19. Serdy says:

    Because he should have retired 8 years ago, nobody cares anymore

  20. titans says:

    You shoulda retired 8 years ago!

  21. RaGsHoCkEy88 says:

    i give him tons of credit for doing what hes doing. im a rangers fan and its gonna be sad when he retires

  22. kwo1500 says:

    What about Ronnie Francis? The greatest player of all time!!.

  23. PensFansRejoice says:

    One of, if not the most underrated player of all time.

  24. monley89 says:

    i was reading on tsn apparently he has aids

  25. titans says:

    Now thats just silly.

  26. titans says:

    Oh absolutly one of the most underrated!

  27. SabresFan220 says:

    I think I’m just echoing what everyone else has said. Mark Messier is one of the greatest leaders and team captains in the history of hockey. At one time he was one of the best players in the same, but having the best player ever on your team never hurts. I thought for sure after the ceremony for him after the last game of the year last season that he had pretty much made an official retirement. I think that he might just be better off signing with Edmonton and retiring after that rather than playing another year, but if he signs and decides he wants to play it would be good for the Oilers.

  28. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Who sets limits on the age a professional athlete can play to? Just because he is 45, doesn’t mean he belongs in a nursing home. The guy can still play, and had a productive season with the Rangers before the lockout. He is a great leader, but can’t carry the team on his back anymore. He still outscores most guys in the league, plays physical, and helps develope younger players thru leadership………And you are a moron Freeze for insulting him. He has given so much to the game, and if he wants to keep playing, than he should be allowed with no questions. He is still in the mid to top half of the talent pool in the NHL, which is a great thing for a guy who has been around for so long…………..So, THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.

  29. JannettyTheRocker says:

    And the reason the Rangers have been so pitiful is because they keep throwing money at the problem, buying big names to please the fans, but not building team chemistry. The Rangers are now on the right path, drafting and trading for younger players, and appear to be building a team for the future. If you don’t see that than go back to watching baseball……….

  30. Freeze says:

    Maybe Gordie Howe’s available too.

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