Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Some NHLers will retire without a season

Canada's Sportsnet has a good listing of some NHLers who could possibly never play in the NHL again.

A lot of these guys are certain to return (Joe Sakic, Mike Modano and players of similar ilk) but this does highlight that the league personnel would look radically different when play resumes. One player not on the list who perhaps should be there is the Canucks Markus Naslund, who has made it no secret his plans to return to Sweden while he's still a serviceable player.

I'd like to see Mark Messier keep trucking along. The only player who had more points last year in a Ranger uniform than the 43-year-old Messier was Bobby Holik. Messier will be 44 this January, but given how he can still compete, it'd be great to see the limits to which he can go. Plus, he's only six goals from netting 700.



At 6:17 p.m., December 23, 2004, Blogger Sea Otter said...

I'm with you on Messier, James. It bugs me that so many fans, especially Vancouver fans, slag the guy and fail to give him his proper due as one of the alltime greats.

I maintain that if you took the nameplate off his jersey last season, and erased his birth year from the program, people would have recognized him as one of the better two way forwards in the game. As it stands, however, he falls victim to a bit of age discrimination, some unrealistic expectations based on his glory years, and some of that general pall that seems to hang over the Ranger franchise these days. I would have liked to see him go to a contender at the deadline last season, as I think he really could have helped someone in the playoffs.


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