Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Search
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
 All Forums
 Heads Up!
 2005 Heads Up Archive
 Retirement Anyone? Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
 Forum Locked
Author  Topic Next Topic  

admin
Forum Admin



Canada
2170 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  21:31:19  Show Profile
Contributed by: Harvey Rose

It was bound to happen. The retirement of some of the greatest players ever to ‘lace ‘em up’ is no surprise after such an extended break. Just think of the on-ice talent lost this year: Mark Messier, Scott Stevens, Al MacInnis, Ron Francis, Trent Klatt, James Patrick and Roman Turek. Of course there were more but these are the most notable and recent. For the purpose of this discussion let’s look at the key four: Messier, Stevens, MacInnis and Francis. If anyone is thinking “Well, they’d be retiring now anyway, it’s not the fault of the lock out.” they’d probably be right. But let’s look at this thing another way. We, the fans, were robbed of a whole season last year. It left many armchair prayers unanswered and, as you will read below, a few records that would probably have been broken, intact. The lock out gave us one less season of miraculous plays and 328 less opportunities to witness greatness that almost never faltered. One by one let’s peek into what was and what could have been.

Mark Messier: One of the greatest leaders in the history of the game, Messier won the Hart two times and both the Conn Smythe and the Lester B. Pearson once. “The Moose’s” endurance was incomprehensible. Imagine if Messier played in the 2004-2005 lock out season. He would have captured the title of “most regular season games played” from another legend, Gordie Howe. Mr. Messier has 1756 NHL regular season games under his belt compared to Gordie Howe’s 1767. I might add that Francis is 3rd on that list with 1731 games. Now that would have been a more fitting end for a demi-god such as Messier. Oh, the memories that could have been forged last year….did I mention 6 Stanley Cups for Mr. Elbows? No doubt, there was a little magic left.

Scott Stevens: Aside from leading the New Jersey Devils to 3 Stanley Cups, Scott Stevens put his granite body on the line night after night. He was well known for his punishing hits and if you don’t believe me just ask Eric Lindros. Now, Lindros can’t exactly remember it but I’m sure someone told him that he stepped in front of the Scott Stevens freight train on at least one occasion. Besides the big hits there was also his endurance. Up until 2003-2004 Stevens rarely missed a game and the teams he faced hated that. Stevens played in 1635 regular season games in 22 seasons and received 2785 penalty minutes, 900 more than Messier. The Devils always seemed to have their sights on Lord Stanley, which means we could have seen another cup for Stevens.

Al Macinnis: One of the games most prominent offensive defensemen. In 1416 regular season games Al recorded 1274 points (340 goals and 934 assists). Best known for his blistering slap shot that often topped 100 miles an hour, MacInnis was feared by all who stood in front of the net…including his own teammates. MacInnis played in 11 All-Star games and has won both the Conn Smyth and Norris trophies. And of course who can forget the Calgary Flames run to the Stanley Cup in ‘89 where Al recorded a bloated 31 points. Even after a terrible eye injury, I’m convinced that if this classy d-man was given another season last year he would have dazzled once more and taught a few young blueliners a thing or two.

Ron Francis: Last but certainly not least is Ron Francis. With 23 years in the league and over twenty 20+ goal seasons, Francis was considered a consummate playmaker. Francis tallied 1798 career points (549 goals and 1249 assists) In assists, Ron placed second to only the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky. I’m quite certain that is more than enough to consider this forward “great!” Aside from his dizzying offensive play he was also a true defensive minded player. In 1995 he won the Selke trophy for best defensive forward and the Lady Byng for most sportsman-like player. Francis reached the pinnacle twice, hoisting the Stanley Cup in ‘91 and ‘92 with the Pittsburg Penguins. With 1731 regular season games could Francis have passed Messier and even Howe on the all-time games list last year? Very possibly.

There just simply is not enough room on this digital page to speak of all the things these four have accomplished. And I have no doubt that they would have accomplished even more if they were given one more opportunity. I am sure that being the true professionals they are, none of them would utter a word of discontent about missing last season and perhaps that is why we, the fans, can speak even more loudly. We all know by now that the lock out came with a hefty price: the loss of revenues, the fan loss, the job losses and more. But the costs I’m referring to today are of the human and sportsmanship kind: the loss of four of the greatest athletes in all of sport. It is a tragic loss for the game itself and the many young players who could have otherwise been touched by these future Hall of Fame members. Yes, the cap, the rule changes, the revenue sharing and all the other petty little things had better be worth it…because it came at a terrible price.


****************************
****************************
Have an opinion on Harvey's article? Let us know. Just hit reply below and post your thoughts. Anything goes...but keep it clean.
****************************
****************************
PickupHockey.com is your online hockey community. We're always looking for sharp volunteer writers. If you feel that you'd like to contribute articles on a regular basis drop us an email. admin@pickuphockey.com

Ripley
PickupHockey Pro



USA
338 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2005 :  23:16:06  Show Profile
I agree with what you're saying. Too many possibilities down the drain. but at first glance at the new league they may have been sacrificed for a good cause.
Go to Top of Page

Ripley
PickupHockey Pro



USA
338 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2005 :  23:21:50  Show Profile
I guess we can add Hull to the list now too...
Go to Top of Page

leigh
Moderator



Canada
1619 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2005 :  15:46:38  Show Profile
Don't forget Damphousse.

Is Tkatchuk next?????
Go to Top of Page

blade
Rookie



Canada
193 Posts

Posted - 04/18/2006 :  14:47:53  Show Profile
Let's add Palffy. Mind you I guess he benefitted from the lock out as it allowed him to heal a bit...not enough though!
Go to Top of Page

PuckNuts
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2414 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  22:34:18  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by leigh

Don't forget Damphousse.

Is Tkatchuk next?????



Tkatchuk still going strong...

There are: People that make things happen, people that watch things happen, and people that wonder what happened, who are you...
Go to Top of Page
   Topic Next Topic  
 Forum Locked
Jump To:
Snitz Forums 2000 Go To Top Of Page